Biventricular pacemaker is a special pacemaker, which is used to synchronize the contractions of the left ventricle with the right ventricle, to improve the blood flow in patients with severe and moderately severe symptoms of heart failure. These symptoms include shortness of breath, dry cough, swelling of the ankles and legs, weight gain, increased urination, fatigue and rapid or irregular heartbeat.
Biventricular implantation is considered in heart failure patients with:
- Severe or moderately severe heart failure symptoms
- Delayed electrical activation of the heart
- Either a risk or history of cardiac arrest
- On long-term medications for heart failure
When the heart rate drops below the rate set with the pacemaker, it senses the drop and transmits electrical impulses to the left as well as the right ventricle to contract simultaneously, improving the blood flow and the cardiac function. The lead placed in the right atrium helps the heart to function in a more balanced way.
Biventricular pacemaker implantation is also called cardiac synchronization therapy and is only a part of any comprehensive heart failure management program. Medications, life style changes and regular follow up with a cardiac specialist are all crucial for managing the symptoms and improving the quality of life in heart failure patients.