Three months post bypass operation, q... - British Heart Fou...

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Three months post bypass operation, question on retained pacing wire.

Evans123 profile image

Hi I had a double heart bypass in June and routinely as part of the operation temporary pacing wires are put in place. On removing the two wires post op, approximately 3 days later only one of the two wires was able to be removed the other was ‘stuck’ and therefore snipped at skin level after gentle pulling proved unable to remove it. Not sure how much was left inside I didn’t want to look at the time they were doing the procedure.

I’m now getting an intermittent very sharp pain in the right side above where the wires exited when I bend down or scrunch up, not constant and not always happening when bending, but very painful when it does happen. I have been back to the hospital this week and readmitted overnight for an X-ray and blood tests but neither showed any problems. I’ve been told by my Consultant Surgeon’s Registrar I would need CT scan to determine position of wire to assess whether this is the cause of the pain, other suggestion is nerve pain.

Has anyone had a similar experience, pain whether wire related or nerve or could advise. I don’t really want to have a CT scan unless really necessary because the Registrar stated it was like having 400 X-rays and another general medical consultant mentioned the link between CT chest scans and breast cancer.

Any advice or information from anyone with a similar pain or who has had a similar experience most welcome.

Many thanks J

7 Replies

Thats a difficult one for a novice, however I believe that the wires are attached to the heart and were bing used to maintain a level abd apropriate pulse. Once the drains come out, they have had enough information after about 24/48 hours to remove the wires. There can be nothing more natural that if one should be difficult to pull out, it should be clipped at the skin and left, rather like a stitch. However wire does not rot or contract. I believe that if the wire isin the skin and you cant feel the end or see it through the skin, then all is well and the bodies healing system pill coat the wire and its ends to cacoon it - I personall would have thought that some steel wire would not be a problem, when the sternum is wire repaired. If you do get occasional sharpness in the dermis area, ir sould be the end of the wire sticking in from the inside. The trouble with all this is the fear factor and the unknown and "Oh god, will I have to be opened up again to find out or god forbid, someone has left a pair of gloves inside. All thats normal and would suggest you keep a note of the date/time it hurts and what you rere doing at the time. Then wait and see if it happens again and note time/date it hurt and intensity and so on. If over ttwo weeks or two three months it gets no better (or when ever you want to speak toyour consultant, then go but give it a chance and lets hope the body process of healing will let the end of the wire be sealed by the bodies imune system. I have had a devil of a job with bits of stitching poking out of the leg wound and found a light massage of the skin can gring out the stitch or heel the area. Its all about healing - BUT if concerned, ring the hospitsl - not your gp and ask for help or assistance. Hope this helps

Evans123 profile image
Evans123 in reply to

Hi ticking-ticker

Thank you for your reply I was thinking the same as you suggested to write down dates, activities e.g. bending when pain came on etc.

They have said if they were to remove the wire it would have to be done under a general anaesthetic not something to take lightly unless absolutely necessary.

Your response was very helpful and I will take your advice.

Thank you J

Hi, I have had several CT scans and never heard of any problems about having them, it maybe worth finding out if the 400 x rays refers to the image and not the effects an x ray has, just a though,

Good luck


Evans123 profile image
Evans123 in reply to Andrew1966

Thank you Andrew, I will ask GP today.

MichaelJH profile image
MichaelJHHeart Star

Whilst there is an absolutely minute radiation risk I think you definitely need to have the CT scan to see what is going on. In general metal work within the body is problem free (I have had plates and screws in my left leg for over a decade) there is a very small chance of issues with a pacing wie; movement, infection, etc. Get it checked and if there is an issue it can be addressed - afterwards you will be able to rest easy.

Hi MichaelJH

I’ve asked the hospital for a scan. Your right it will my mind at rest.

Thank J

Evans123 profile image
Evans123 in reply to Evans123

You are right, grammar error.

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