ICD/pacemaker feeling the cold? - British Heart Fou...

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ICD/pacemaker feeling the cold?


Hey everyone

Just after a bit of advice. Over the last week or so I've been getting sporadic dull aches in my left chest area and what feels like my heart. I know it isn't anything sinister going on as my heart plumbing is ok. So I'm wondering if my ICD is feeling the icy cold weather and in turn making me a bit uncomfortable. It's my first winter with my hardware so I'm not sure if ICD/pacemakers feeling the cold is a "thing" or if I'm barking up the wrong tree.

If anyone one that has felt similar or has any advice that would be fab.

Spatz76 x

18 Replies

Not sure I've noticed my device feeling the cold but I do remember it aching in that general area on and off for the first year or more. Kind of makes sense that it would conduct the cold though, I guess? Definitely interested to read what others have to say about it! :)

Hi Spatz76..... yes yes I am feeling the same! It's like a dull ache and hurts a bit. Definitely felt it in the recent cold snap and had to wrap up extra in the chest area to ensure it stayed warm.

Now the weather has got milder it's definitely improved.. .. a colleague at work has steel pins in his ankle and he says he feels that when the weather is cold. I guess as our ICDs are metal.... and quite near the service of our skin it dies make sense.

So I have asked for a Snood for Xmas to wrap around my neck and upper chest when I am out in the cold.

Would love to hear if anyone else feels this too


Yep, same here. Hadn't actually occurred to me that it could be the cold causing it, but now you've mentioned it with the warmer weather today I haven't had the same pains. I've only had my pacemaker since 13 Nov so assumed it was just normal settling in pain. Will have to make sure I keep it warm!


Thanks for your replys everyone. It's reassuring to know it's not just me. I guess we'll just have to wrap up warm from now on until we stop noticing. I'll have to invest in some chunky scarves. It's a journey of discovery this first year of device implant!


I am getting my icd fitted tomorrow, and strangely enough I was thinking about that exact thing, and the opposite, so can I ask you all,will it heat up when I am on the beach 🏖? Cheers char xx

Spatz76 in reply to Hidden

Hi Char, good luck for tomorrow, if you're anything like me you'll feel so much safer after tomorrow. Don't worry I've definitely not felt it heat up on the beach or poolside 😀 it's just the cold mine objects to. I don't blame it! It's a clever device indeed. 🤣

Hidden in reply to Spatz76

Thanks, I just wish it wasn't so near Xmas 🎅🎄but the sooner the better I suppose and I have my holiday in May to look forward to 😎 merry Christmas and have a great time, char x

It is a clever and wonderful device! I am so thankful for mine. I just got for Christmas. lol

I just got "it" for Christmas! How can you fix a mistake when you make one?

sheridanh in reply to Hidden

my ICD has saved my life several times.

The only downside is not being able to drive.

I wish you the best and dont worry.

I have had my pacemaker six weeks and still getting pains near the device not sure if it is due to cold or normal settling in. Just about to travel abroad for first time so a bit anxious but hopefully will be ok. Wish me luck

Good luck with your travels. I too went away six weeks after my ICD, I really needed to get away. I was nervous and over prepared but I was completely fine, as you will be. Now I have a device I've realised how it's quite a common thing and no one at airports etc even bat an eyelid when you mention it. Hopefully your pacemaker settling in niggles will subside very soon. Enjoy your trip x

Thank you I have also spoken to GP and feel bit less anxious about it all. Hopefully a rest in the warm weather will help my recovery. All the best to you x

I don't have that problem as I live in Southern Spain (although it's down to 2c early mornings at the moment), but I did have the opposite problem in the summer, it heated up. I was told when I left the hospital, just over 12 months ago, not to expose the area of the ICD to direct sunlight. It logically follows, therefore, that the cold would also have an effect.

Yes it’s been very low temperatures here in the north of Scotland not been really above freezing in weeks glad it’s not just me feeling achy 🤗 x

wow thanks for the post. I feel the symptoms but never connected the dots.

Hi spatz76,

I have been advised to get an AICD . Can you pl clear one of my nagging fears -- does one feel one's AICD inside his body as a continuous foreign body or does the feeeling of some implant inside you go away after some time ? I am anxious about having to live with a constant feeling of a foreign body inside me ? Will be grateful for any replies ... thanks .

Hi Wangpeng

I suppose it depends on how you view your ICD. I was riddled with anxiety when I had mine implanted and from day one I saw mine not as a foreign body but as my personal lifesaver. I think that's why I felt so positive about having it in there. It also helps that I can't see it under my skin and the most part I can't feel mine. I certainly can't feel it pacing or anything like that. Generally it's easy to forget it's there.

However, on the odd occasion when I'm lying on my side it can stick out a bit. Depending on the angle. The first time this happened l did feel a bit squimish and wierded out that I had "hardware" in my body. Please be reassured that feeling lasted no time at all and I soon forgot about it again. It just becomes part of you.

Hope this helps

Spatz76 x

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