Helping Your Heart Keep Pace (Video)

Sometimes the pathway in the heart’s electrical system is interrupted, which causes changes in heart rate and rhythm. A slow heartbeat can occur because the sinus node, the natural “battery” of the heart, is slow. Other times electrical conduction between the upper and lower chambers of the heart is disrupted. When this happens, the heart … Read More

Patient Receives New, Leadless Pacemaker

Cleveland Clinic physicians recently became among the first in the U.S. to implant a new miniature leadless cardiac pacemaker that stimulates the heart to a regular rhythm without the connecting leads or wires of a conventional device. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the device could improve patient comfort by: Replacing a surgical … Read More

In Memory of Dr. Roy Greenberg

A memorial service to honor Dr. Roy Greenberg will be held on January 11, 2014 at 1:00 pm at the InterContinental Hotel (9801 Carnegie Avenue, Cleveland, OH) Cleveland Clinic is sad today. We lost a great friend and valued member of our staff. Roy Greenberg, MD, was a vascular surgeon, teacher and innovator. He had … Read More

Taking Warfarin Before Cardiac Device Surgery

Managing blood thinner medication before pacemaker or defibrillator surgery is a common challenge, but a new study confirms long-standing observations that uninterrupted warfarin treatment before device surgery is the best option. “Between 15 to 30 percent of patients undergoing pacemaker or defibrillator surgeries are on long-term oral anticoagulation (blood thinners),” says electrophysiologist Khaldoun Tarakji, MD, … Read More

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A Racing Heart

Linda Shaw is an avid runner, and she always dresses in costume when she races so she can spark conversations to encourage others to seek trusted medical care. Here, she shares her story. I am the one at the road races dressed in costume. I travel the country to run 5Ks, 10Ks and half-marathons. And I … Read More

“Scrupulous Attention” Helps Thwart Implant Infection

Implantable cardiac pacing and defibrillator devices are wonders of modern medicine that have prolonged and enhanced millions of lives. But the interior of the human body is a complex environment, and sometimes these devices are associated with infections that are occasionally serious. How can they be avoided? Bruce Wilkoff, MD, director of Cardiac Pacing and Tachyarrhythmia … Read More

Note on Scary Device Warnings

You may have read or heard about the recent recall of pacemaker leads. If you have a pacemaker or ICD (implantable cardio-defibrillator), you may be worried that you’re in some kind of danger. Should you be? Keep in mind that “recall” doesn’t mean that you need to rush to your doctor and have the lead … Read More

Heart Health Twitter Quiz – Pacemakers

True or False: Pacemakers “fix” all heart rhythm problems. True False Answer: False In their book, Heart 411, Drs. Gillinov and Nissen say: We use pacemakers most often to treat people who have a heart rate that is too slow (also termed a bradycardia). In these people, the pacemaker ensures a heart rate that is … Read More

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Laser Lead Shedding OK for Over 80s

Anything that affects three million people is important. Like pacemakers. An estimated 3 million people have these heart-rhythm regulators implanted under their skin. The heart is hooked up to a pacemaker by two or three tiny wires called leads. The leads are inserted through veins in the chest and threaded to the heart. But the … Read More

Dos and Don’ts: Life with an ICD

Will my cell phone ruin my ICD? What about metal detectors at airports? Here Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Thomas J. Dresing, MD, addresses some of the common questions asked by patients with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs): How does my ICD help me? Your ICD (a small device, about the size of a pager, placed below the … Read More