Pacemaker !!!: Hello there all you Afibbers... - AF Association

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Pacemaker !!!


Hello there all you Afibbers. Feeling very disappointed and sad as we had just finished packing the car to go to our home in Spain when my husbands cardiologist from Pathworth rang so say he had some results of a recent heart tracker post ablation and it would seem my husband now needs aPacemaker. I'm frightened and concerned how it will affect our lives and I'm feeling so upset for my husband who is also very shock.

We were thinking that 5 months post catheter ablation things were going well so it's a shock . We are both very down 😒

31 Replies

I have no experience personally but know plenty of people for whom a pacemaker has been a life changer--for the good. Why be negative? People have hearing aids and glasses so why not something to help the heart along?

Enjoy your holiday .

Oh so sorry to hear that. Tough news anytime but you must be totally deflated going from packing for Spain and now this bolt out of the blue.

Are you still able to go or is the pacemaker imminent and necessary before you go.

Whatever the situation together you will come through this and resume your holiday home I'm Spain with renewed energy. My friend has never looked back since her pacemaker and travels widely to far flung places. This is a setback not a spoiler of your future. Hope you both feel more upbeat and confident in the coming days after the upset has settled. Best wishes.

netie54 in reply to meadfoot

Cardiologist advised not to go as we were driving. Waiting now for a date for pacemaker to be fitted . If NHS wait too long he will go privately !

meadfoot in reply to netie54

Sorry you can't go but better to get things sorted first. After pacemaker you will be off on your travels again and enjoying your lovely Spanish home.

netie54 in reply to meadfoot

I would like to thank you all for your kind words and encouragement. We both feel better than we did this after. I will keep you posted following a visit to cardiologist ASAP,

seasider18 in reply to netie54

It can be very expensive to do that depending on the type of pacemaker required. I was going to have my aortic valve replacement done privately until I was told that if it was found I needed a pacemaker fitted it could add about £10K to the cost.

Thank you so very much. I just read your post to my husband and he too thanks you for your kind and encouraging words. We really needed to hear that.

Thank you again. What a fantastic site this is.

This must have been such a shock for you both. It doesn’t matter how routine it is portrayed, it is a big step and something you did not contemplate.

I have had a number of ablations and have also been diagnosed with first degree heart block. I too was told I needed a pacemaker.

However I have resisted this as I have had some severe allergic reactions to electrodes and do not want to have to rely on something that cannot be taken away.

For the time being I am having regular outpatient appointments to monitor my situation. I am feeling better than I have for years.

Regardless of how necessary your husband’s pacemaker is, I would encourage him to ask lots of questions before it is installed to enable you both to understand fully what the pros and cons are.

If it is necessary then as you are aware it is a routine procedure that gives many a new secure lease of life.

I hope you hear soon.


netie54 in reply to pottypete1

Thank you Pete for that. Yes you are right there must be cons . We are hoping to be able to speak to our cardiologist this week to ask some questions as we were rather in shock when our cardiologist from Pathworth rang earlier today.

So useful advise, thank you.

Melleray in reply to pottypete1

I was interested in your reply as my cardiologist has repeatedly told me that I need a pacemaker. I too, have resisted, as I have learned about the negative side effects. If it were a matter of life and death, of course I would have it, but as you say, there are a lot of questions to be asked first.

My friend had a pacemaker fitted and has never looked back. The technology nowadays is amazing. He just goes for a checkup every year at the pacemaker clinic. Try not to worry - be pleased that the condition has been diagnosed.

netie54 in reply to Coachv

Thank you so very much. I am feeling sick with worry for my husband. It was really a big shock. He has been doing do well since his ablation and it was just on a routine visit to Papworth that they fitted him with a new ecg patch for 10days otherwise the abnormality would not have been noticed. I’m just feeling frightened but I’m sure it will eventually pass and get things sorted. Thanks again. Everyone is so supported.

My husband also had a pacemaker in 2014 at 80. Now 84 he still plays golf, travels extensively - works in US - volunteers for 3 organisations and has never looked back. There will be good reason for recommending - often brachycardia or Brady/tachycardia. It is a routine day procedure done under a local anaesthetic - about 45 mins.

I am also waiting for pacemaker and AV node ablation and although I have put it off for about 12 months, I am now at the stage that anything that will improve my QOL I’m going for.

Of course there will be some risks - infection being the principle which is a 1in 200 - but I’ll take those odds.

I would encourage you both to go have a second consultation and discuss in detail the reason this is being recommended as I think you will more settled when you know the reasoning.

The only way I can see it affecting your lives is to improve it, maybe I’m too optimistic, but having seen the difference in my husband I feel very optimistic.


Thank you. Your post, along with others, has been so very encouraging and supportive and I thank you again for this

I hope your husband continues to enjoy life and that will get the quality of life you deserve.


Hi it's a shock but if you think of the alternatives it's preferable. I had open heart surgery to remove a benign tumour in Dec 2013 . My heart didn't recover as it should so in Aug 2014 I had a pacemaker. I was 59. I went from doing not a lot for five yrs to post insertion recovery to the gym for an hour 5/6 days a week. I flew to Greece four week post pacemaker. That and meds keep me in a reasonable state . I was having up to 8 second pauses approx 70 times in 24 hrs alongside AF. In the main life is good . Try not to worry discuss the options and then decide

May have missed the why he needs a pacemaker part? So why the pacemaker as used for different things sometimes.

netie54 in reply to azriverrat

Hello there. The cardiologist looked at the results from. ECG patch my husband had on for several days. It's turns out his heart has missed some beats some up to 6 seconds so that not good and is strongly advising a pacemaker

azriverrat in reply to netie54

That is something pacemakers can do. No totally dependent on pacemaker either like pace and ablate. Not the end of the world and as with everything tech much improved through the years.


Best wishes to your husband for his pacemaker op. I had one put in last May (aged 44) I had previously also had an ablation. The pacemaker procedure took approximately 1-1.5 hours and I was in and out of hospital the same day. I had to put a pillow under my arm to sleep for a few nights and the day after the operation I was a bit sore, Mine was a shock too - I went for my ablation 3 month follow up appointment and was told to come back in 3 days to have a pacemaker! My pacemaker has put an end to the pauses and consequent dizzy spells and it also meant I could have my driving license back after I was told to surrender it because of the pauses. Therefore, my pacemaker has ultimately been beneficial, and I am pretty sure it will offer benefits to your husband too. Good luck and kind regards

Just had one fitted two weeks ago and already feeling the benefits . I cannot believe how well I feel no dizzy moments or phasing out and not feeling there . Good luck

I had a pacemaker fitted11 years ago. After 3 years it was changed for an I C D. I can assure you it really didn't change my life at all. Really carried on as normal but with the added confidence that things were under control. Work , travel, , and activities such as golf , exercise...unaffected. Good luck !

The Pacemaker for me was a God send, my life was pretty rough after ablation, it was rough before but much worse afterwards so mine was fitted and life is now good. Once it is in and full recovery made your husband should be as good as new, certainly nothing to be afraid of. Good luck.

Hi Nettie

Yes such a disappointment to cancel your holiday

I know how u both feel I’m only 56 yrs old and I’m on my 2nd pacemaker (12th yr) my life has so changed for the better I wouldn’t be able to do anything and that’s if I would’ve been still alive if I hadn’t had it fitted. I can remember those words being said to me by my cardiologist at the tilt table test. Yes at my age so young needing a pacemaker yes a shock but I asked all the questions I needed to (I wrote them down) it was absolutely the best thing I have ever had. It is a positive experience it actually sounds far worse than it actually is to have fitted.

I can’t stress enough how much better my life is after pacemaker so I want to encourage you and your husband to first find out the reasons for the pacemaker are there any alternative which you may feel better about doing if your unsure. Questions along these lines to make an informed choice. But please be guided by the cardiologist he knows what he’s talking about that’s what he did his training for!!

Good luck to your husband and to you and hope he has a speedy recovery and you can go off to Spain in a few weeks times and you will enjoy your holiday far greater as he will have a new lease of life with the pacemaker.

A shock yes,but on a positive note many peop!e including my mum found/find pacemakers a great help,not intrusive.

Hope all goes well.

Personally I found it to be very effective. Only 3 af events in 2 years all self reverting after a maximum time of 4 hours which it never did before. After 3 ablations which lasted very little time the Pm has been a god send.

I take low dose Sotolol and Dabigatran and feel much more confident since having my Pm

Good luck to you


My daughter had her pacemaker fitted at 18, since then she has competed for GB in swimming, done an Ironman and regularly competes in 10k fun runs and half marathons!! Your hubbies life is most definitely not over! Minor short term inconvenience, major long term advantage!

The timing (and delivery of the message!) obviously could have been better but just think of all those lovely holidays you will have after the op. I feel the pacemaker will ensure he can leave behind the unpredictability of the dreaded AF and give you more peace of mind too. All the best to you both.

I have had an ICD (after a cardiac arrest) for 14 years, which also acts as a pacemaker. The pacing was set to 70bpm which suppressed the AF. Modern-day batteries last for about 10 years (an improvement from the 7 years of my original one), so it eventually has to be replaced with a new one. I have recently had mine replaced, which took about 20 mins under local anaesthetic. Some of the latest versions can be monitored in real time by the hospital via the mobile phone network. You can live a normal life (including flying) with one. The only thing is to remember to tell the airport security people so that they can do a manual check on you – if you go through the arch it may detect the metal inside you and ring the alarm bells (the pacemaker will be unaffected, though).

Hello netie54,

You have my sympathy. Medical issues have forced us to postpone several trips in the last few years.

My only experience of a pacemaker is via a friend whose daily walk has taken him past our house for the past twenty years. A pacemaker has enabled him to lead the active, independent life:

Hope you'll get to your place in Spain soon. Our summer stay at our little house in the Hebrides is dependent on my speedy recovery from an ablation that has already been cancelled once so I know how you feel.

All the best,

Hello netie54! Relax and cheer up! I had the same thing happening to me after ablation, which really did not help, I had to get a pacemaker. Still on meds, but feel a lot better. It just takes a little while when everything is adjusted right. I still get A fibs, but they are not so bad. Good luck to your husband!

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