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October 9 2018

Pacemaker keeps traveler on the go

Gene Bitterberg has a lot to look forward to. This month the Brookfield resident will celebrate his 82nd birthday. Gene and his wife, Pat, are planning for a cruise and a winter getaway.

It’s a remarkable change from April 2017, when a low heart rate was affecting Gene’s energy level and activities. “I didn’t have much pep but didn’t think that much about it, being an octogenarian,” Gene said. “I was surprised that my pulse was 35 though.”

A normal resting heart rate ranges from 60 to 100 beats a minute in adults.

Internal medicine physician William Lutz, MD, immediately sent Gene to ProHealth Waukesha Memorial Hospital and cardiologist Kooroush Saeian, MD.

After medical tests, consultation, examination and a review of Gene’s medical history, Dr. Saeian recommended that Gene receive a pacemaker.

“The pacemaker monitors the heart rate through a miniature computer programmed by the medical team,” Dr. Saeian said. “The pacemaker connects with the internet to send data to ProHealth’s computers and staff who monitor patients. A wealth of information about the patient’s status can be viewed and downloaded.”

Monitoring allows the medical team to recommend adjustments to the pacemaker and the course of care.

Dr. Saeian said it’s common for patients with a heart rate that is too low, too high or irregular to be recommended for a pacemaker. Patients with regular heart rates are at a lower risk for heart problems, dizziness and falls. Their quality of life, general well-being, functional capacity and longevity often improve with a pacemaker.

Gene said his pep is back since he received his pacemaker. His ProHealth primary care and heart care teams stay up-to-date on his health and he gets a pacemaker checkup twice a year.

“I’m good to go,” Gene said. “I’m glad I’m in the condition I’m in to be able to do the things I enjoy. I’m very happy with ProHealth – they’ve taken care of me for forever.”

Visit ProHealthCare.org/Heart to learn more about Heart & Vascular Care at ProHealth Care.