We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pacemaker Wire?

By Erin J. Hill
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A pacemaker wire, also called a lead, is a thin wire which connects to the generator of the device at one end and the heart at the other. Each pacemaker may have two or more wires to fit into the right atrium and the right ventricle and sometimes the left ventricle. Wires have an electrode at the end which connects to the heart in order to pick up its natural electrical impulses and send that information back to the generator.

There are three main types of pacemaker. One uses a pacemaker wire to connect the generator to the right ventricle. The second connects wires to both the right ventricle and atrium, and the third connects the generator to the left and right ventricles as well as the right atrium. The type used will depend on the patient’s condition and which type of pacemaker is ideal.

The pacemaker wire comes in several forms, although most are made from metal and feature some sort of coating for insulation. Some have a screw-in design while others have small tines at one end to connect to the body. Wires may be straight and narrow, or have a “J” or similar shape to fit into the atrium more effectively. Many pacemakers use a combination of leads to connect to various areas of the heart.

Wires which feature the screw-in mechanism are better able to stay in place soon after implantation. Those with tines, however, are often more accurate at pinpointing heart irregularities. Wires which feature a screw device are more common, but a doctor will be the final judge at which type of pacemaker wire is needed for each patient.

During placement, the pacemaker wire is inserted into the vein on the upper left-hand side of the chest, in the same area where the generator is placed. Doctors generally use a fluoroscope, which is a type of X-ray, to view the wires as they are strung through the veins and into their proper positioning at the heart. This is usually considered a minor surgery, and patients are not typically put under using general anesthesia. The operation is often performed in a clinic or the doctor’s office.

It is very rare for a pacemaker wire to malfunction, as they are relatively simple in design. More commonly, infection may occur in the pacemaker pocket, and the entire system is replaced. Very rarely a particular model of pacemaker or lead will be recalled due to faulty design or function. Occasional checks with the doctor are needed to ensure that the device is working correctly. Pacemakers are replaced once every five to ten years when the batteries weaken.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.