A pacemaker is a small electrical device implanted in the body with wires going to the heart to regulate the heartbeat. It is implanted under the skin near the collarbone and sends out an electrical signal to keep a steady contracting rhythm in the heart. Some pacemakers sense when the heartbeat is too fast or too slow and fire impulses that help the heart return to the proper rhythm and speed.
Watch a short video(link opens in new window) about pacemakers and airport security.
Downloadable patient information sheet: What is a pacemaker? (PDF)
Open-heart maze procedure
Maze heart surgery is a complex procedure in which a surgeon creates small cuts in the upper part of your heart. The cuts are then stitched together and scar tissue forms. The scars interfere with the transmission of electrical impulses that can cause AFib. Normal heartbeat is then restored.