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Dr Chip (M.D.)
Dr Chip (M.D.), Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 32777
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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A 93 year old with a very weak heart muscle. There is a

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A 93 year old with a very weak heart muscle. There is a pacemaker but it appears the person is getting weaker. Does it matter when there is a pacemaker if the heart is weak and damaged or does it continue to work regardless of the hearts condition?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Well, of course, all a pacemaker can do is electrically stimulate the ventricle to contract. The amount of blood pumped and the force of the contraction depends on the amount and health of the remaining viable myocardial muscle. If too much of the heart muscle has been destroyed or what's left is weakened, the pacemaker will continue to keep the heart rate at an appropriate level, but it won't change the dynamics of the heart's work.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If I understand correctly as the heart continues to weaken or becomes more damaged at some point the the pacemaker will be ineffective because the heart can't do it's job. In a younger person that could possibly mean a heart transplant correct?
Expert:  Dr Chip (M.D.) replied 6 years ago.
Exactly. For example, if you try to electrically stimulate a peace of red meat, since it's dead it really won't contract very much. If the cardiac failure were to the point of not much viable muscle left and the patient was in severe congestive heart failure, yes, a younger patient's only option at that point would be a heart transplant.
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