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Surgical procedures involving the heart were once major surgeries, but advances in medical science have made some cardiac procedures much less invasive and able to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers rather than a hospital operating room.
Inserting a pacemaker to regulate the heart's rhythm is a very common procedure. In most cases, a catheter is introduced through a small incision in the chest area and the pacemaker's lead wires are then moved through the catheter into the heart. Once your surgeon ensures that the lead wires are working properly, the wires are attached to a pulse generator and the generator slipped under the skin at the incision site.
The batteries that power a pacemaker typically last from six to 10 years. About half of patients who receive a pacemaker will need to have the batteries replaced during their lifetime.