Arrhythmia Surgery For some patients, surgery may be required to regulate an irregular heartbeat. Pacemakers If your heartbeat is too slow or irregular, your surgeon might insert an electronic pacemaker to regulate your heart rate. The permanent pacemaker is inserted through a small incision in the upper chest close to a major vein. Then the pacemaker wire is moved through the vein and into the heart. The wire carries signals between the heart and the pacemaker, which the surgeon attaches to the wire and places in a protected area underneath the skin or under the muscle. The pacemaker then delivers an electrical impulse whenever it detects a slowing or irregularity of heart rhythm. Implantable Defibrillator Similar to a pacemaker, a defibrillator is another device implanted into the chest that monitors heart rate. While pacemakers are used when a patient suffers from a slow or irregular heartbeat, defibrillators are used when a patient's heartbeat sometimes becomes too fast. The defibrillator can sense when the heart rate increases, and will then send out electrical signals to bring the heart rate back down to normal. For more information about cardiac surgery or to refer a patient for a consultation, call us at (585) 275-5384.