A pacemaker is a small device that is placed under the skin of your chest or abdomen to help control a heart that beats too slowly or has any type of abnormal rhythm. This battery-powered device delivers electrical pulses to prompt the heart muscle to beat at a normal rate, which can be life-saving.

Pacemakers can be used to treat many conditions with irregular heart rhythms, including congestive heart failure and cardiomyopathy. This may be recommended either after a life-threatening event, or more commonly as a preventative measure in patients who are at high risk for serious heart complications.