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Dr Brims
Dr Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8969
Experience:  MD
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My pacemaker is keeping my heart beating.. What does that mean

Resolved Question:

My pacemaker is keeping my heart beating.. What does that mean? Is my heart NOT beating without the pacemaker?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Brims replied 3 years ago.

Dr B :

Hello, welcome to Justanswer, I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr B :

The pacemaker is simply providing the electrical stimulus to keep your heart beating at an appropriate pace, that will provide the necessary blood to supply your body

Dr B :

If the pacemaker is firing 96% of the time it means that your heart is providing very little input into your hearts electrical activity

Customer:

Why, with 3 new mech valves isn't it pumping correctly?

Customer:

I thought the valves improved my hearts function

Dr B :

It has nothing to do with the pumping or the valves, for each heart beat, an electrical stimulus must come from the SA node in the heart, but sometimes the electrical pathways are damaged due to age or fibrosis, which breaks up the pathway (just like a cut wire), and thus the stimulus never gets to the appropriate fibers to even start each heart beat

Dr B :

The pacemaker provides this when it occurs

Customer:

So, in actuality "I am living because my pacemaker" is pacing my heart appropriately.

Dr B :

It is kind of like the ignition of a car, when you turn the key to start

Dr B :

Yes, that is correct

Dr B :

The battery provides the electrical current to start the car, and it doesn't matter how new the engine is, if it doesn't start, it can't run

Customer:

Yes, and then when there is no ignition (pumping heart), the jumpers start it moving. and when the jumpers are removed, hopefully the car will keep on driving, but it still could fail.

Dr B :

Well, that was an analogy, but in a nutshell, your pacemaker is keeping your heart beating

Customer:

I had a pacer check today, the percentage of pacing went up to 96% from 75% What could have happened to the heart muscle in the meantime?

Dr B :

The pathways could have been damaged or fibrosed, which occurs with age

Customer:

So, i guess I have to wait to see my doc about the echo? Do you think the report will include the pacemakers problem? I wonder what I could have done to damage the muscle? I know fibrosis comes with age too. I also have Hep C from a heartvalve replacement in 1984 when they weren't testing the blood yet.. Now the say I have chirhosis. But my mail concern was that my heart wouldn't beat on oits own w/o the pacemaker?

Dr B :

The echo will not provide much input on the pacemeaker problem, they evaluate different things. Your heart will beat without the pacemaker, but not fast enough to keep you alive, so you need the pacemaker

Customer:

Other that those problems, I exercise regularly.. walk and work around the house, and garden around Boone,NC.. Shouls I experience any symptoms from the pacemakes?

Dr B :

No, the pacemaker should not cause any symptoms

Customer:

Thank you for answering my questions. What happens when it is pacing 100%.. Do they do anything different then? Possible put in a defib, too?

Dr B :

They may put in a defibrillator if your ejection fraction on your echo is less than 30%

Customer:

OK, i know I'll understand it at a later date. You think i could live 5 more years? (stupid question, but do you?)

Dr B :

Well, from the standpoint of your heart and the pacemaker, you could definitely live 5 more years (even 20 possibly), but with the other conditions, I can't say because I don't have more information on them

Customer:

Thank you.. I have 5 sisters that are intensive nurses, and sometimes I cna't understand them, You have been very helpful.. Could I ask for yoou the next time I want to chat with a doc?

Dr B :


You're welcome, you may ask for me the next time, I will be happy to help. Just start your question with "for Dr B"






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Dr Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 8969
Experience: MD
Dr Brims and 7 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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