Pacemakers Specialist

Surgical Care of the Virginias

Frederick W. Barker, MD FACS

Breast and General Surgeon located in Bluefield, VA

Each year, approximately 200,000 pacemakers are implanted in the United States. Pacemakers help patients regulate their heart rates and avoid serious complications like passing out, having debilitating fatigue that may accompany abnormally slow heartbeat or preventing fatal arrhythmias. As a board-certified general surgeon, Dr. Barker, offers pacemaker implantation services to patients in the Bluefield, VA/WV, area. For experienced pacemaker implantation, call or use the online scheduling tool to set up a consultation.

Pacemakers Q & A

Why would I need a pacemaker?

If you suffer from an abnormally slow, irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, your cardiologist may recommend a pacemaker which is a small device that sends electrical impulses into your heart to stabilize and regulate your heartbeat.

What are the different types of pacemakers?

The most common type of pacemaker is one that Dr. Barker implants below your skin around your collarbone. He guides tiny wires to certain areas of your heart using fluoroscopy in the operating room. 

The pacemaker operates off battery power and most batteries last five years or more. Your cardiologist will regularly check your pacemaker (often every six months) to ensure that everything is functioning properly. When it is time to replace the battery, Dr. Barker goes in, removes the old pulse generator and connects the new one to the wires already in your heart.  This procedure does not require an overnight stay.

Less frequently, your cardiologist may want you to have a pacemaker/defibrillator combination. Nowadays this is done in much the same way and can be done locally. Pacemaker implantation rarely requires general anesthesia.

An anesthetist administers a sedative to relax you and Dr. Barker numbs the area with a long lasting local anesthetic.

In most cases, you may leave the hospital the following morning, once Dr. Barker checks that the pacemaker is functioning well.

Rest assured, Dr. Barker supplies you with comprehensive postoperative instruction, and he’s always available for any questions you may have during your recovery.

To learn more about pacemaker implantation, please call Dr. Barker’s office or request a consultation using the online booking tool.