Whenever we discuss heart diseases with medical center cardiologist, there is a sense of fear and confusion as to what might transpire. The heart is one of the vital organs of the body and its functioning in healthy state is absolutely critical. Many heart diseases require medication and even surgeries. Then there are heart diseases which needs to be addressed with a pacemaker or resynchronization therapy.
Again, people get baffled regarding what cardiac resynchronization or CRT and pacemaker is. Is it any different or the same? This is the question in many minds. So we are here to discuss the difference between the two:
What is a pacemaker and what are its uses?
According to a medical center cardiologist, pacemaker is a small device which is small as a pocket watch. The pacemaker has majorly three essential parts that work in the mechanism:
- A pulse generator- The generator contains a battery, a small computer, and an electronic circuitry which is required to send small electrical impulses to the heart.
- One or more leads- The leads are basically insulated wires that carry the impulses to the heart’s chamber through a larger vein.
- An electrode on each lead- The electode that passes through the lead touches the wall of the heart. Electrodes help in delivering the impulses to the heart.
Based on the condition which gets assessed at the cardiac centers near me, the leads can be connected to the ventricle i.e. lower ventricle or atrium which is also known as the upper chamber or both. If a patient’s heartbeat reduces below the lower limit of their pacemaker, the device sends an electrical signal to correct it. There is also a second type of pacemaker which does not have a lead, nor does it require a surgical pocket for pulse generator. These are known as leadless pacemakers and are 90% smaller than a regular pacemaker. They are directly implanted to the ventricle. They have the capability to alleviate many complications like lead fracture, lead dislodgement, pocket infections etc.
What are CRT devices what are its uses?
Both the ventricles of a healthy heart pump in unison. But some patients have this problem the heart’s ventricles fail match and coordinate the process of pumping. This condition is known as ventricular dyssynchrony. For such patients, a special type of pacemaker is used to pace both the ventricles so they can beat in unison. This device is known as biventricular pacemaker or cardiac resynchronization therapy device. Cardiac resynchronization therapy device has a pulse and three generators. The first lead is connected to the right ventricle; the second is connected to the coronary sinus vein. This is done in order to pace the left ventricle. Sometimes, a third lead is connected to the right atrium with the purpose to maintain AV synchrony, the medical center cardiologist explains.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of CRT devices. Apart from the one that we just discussed, there is a second type which is known cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillator (CRT-D). This device is implanted into the patients who are at an elevated risk of heart diseases.
To conclude, there is a very minute difference between a pacemaker and resynchronization therapy. In any case, one should consult the medical center cardiologist for regular monitoring of the heart condition.