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USC - University of Southern California Cardiothoracic Surgery at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine
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Glossary of Terms

A small electronic device that is surgically implanted on the chest wall and connected to the heart via small wires. Usually, these wires are placed inside the heart via the large veins that drain into the heart. In some instances, the wires are directly connected to the surface of the heart. The pacemaker’s electronics can sense how often and how regularly the heart is beating. The pacemaker can be programmed to send an electrical impulse to the heart to help it beat faster, more regularly, or both. Pacemakers are necessary for a variety of heart conditions and usually don’t require general anesthesia.


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