For those pondering about a CRT Pacem... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation
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For those pondering about a CRT Pacemaker

Ogilvie
Ogilvie

I have read many posts from people worrying over going down the CRT Pacemaker route. Afterall it does mean having your hearts natural pacemaker burned out and being dependent on technology for the rest of your life. A huge decision.

In my case, I wanted my life back or at least as much of it as I could get and everything I read about CRT Pacemakers suggested to me that this was the route to go down. I had my CRT Pacemaker implanted in March 2017.

In December 2017 I had an Echocardiogram and it should that my Ejection Fraction* (EF) had increased from 28% to 39%. For me this was a a very welcome development. It showed that the heart was getting better. No one knows if the “repair work” will continue but at least I know I’m a little better than I was a year ago.

I hope this helps those pondering with what to do.

(EF is a measurement, expressed as a percentage, of how much blood the left ventricle pumps out with each contraction. An ejection fraction of 60 percent means that 60 percent of the total amount of blood in the left ventricle is pushed out with each heartbeat. This indication of how well your heart is pumping out blood can help to diagnose and track heart failure.

A normal heart’s ejection fraction may be between 50 and 70 percent.

18 Replies
oldestnewest

Sounds like you’ve turned a corner I’m so pleased for you!

I have an ejection fraction of 29% at the moment. I had a cardio version that lasted just 11 days and they now want to go down the route of ablation that I'm really not keen on at all. I have been begging them for over a month now just to put a pacemaker in as it would give me the long term stability and reliability that I am desperate to have back in my life. I know its going to be a bit of an ordeal but this is what I really want. This has been dragging on for months now since I was first admitted and it is getting me really frustrated. i'm glad to hear that you had such a positive outcome from your pacemaker.

Ogilvie
Ogilvie in reply to Arkoia53

Hi There,

I know there are arguments for Ablations over Pacemakers and I am not qualified to comment. All I can say is that the procedure for inserting a Pacemaker and getting an Ablation is as painful as a trip to the dentist. Post-operative care is limited to 10 days max and even then it was really a good excuse to get pampered and watch TV all day. Don’t let the thought of being Pacemaker dependant put you off. The kit is probably more reliable than your own heart.

Arkoia53
Arkoia53 in reply to Ogilvie

That is exactly why I want the pacemaker but i'm having a real struggle to get heard. I fear with ablation I will still be reliant on what is my own heart which isn't in great shape. I fear it will be like setting off in a car on a long journey you know it might not make and I don't want to have this uncertainty. The pacemaker gives me the piece of mind and security I haven't had for the last 3 months.

Prada47
Prada47 in reply to Arkoia53

Hi Arkoia

You need to meet certain NICE criteria to be fitted with a pacemaker EF % QRS interval, and NYHA grade, and also have been on the Optimal Pharmaceutical Treatment. I can understand why you want one they look like a great insurance policy and they help with symptoms as well, a double bonus. I am just going to ask the original poster have they come off any medication since having it fitted !!

Regards

Ogilvie
Ogilvie in reply to Prada47

I would agree that there appears to be a path depending on your symptoms and diagnosis. I had to try drugs for a year and then they attempted an ablation (which didn’t work) and finally a combination of drugs and CRT Pacemaker. No one ever tells you how frustrating it is having a heart condition. I am constantly looking for new drugs or treatments and I must drive the Cardiac team up the wall with my questions.

Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m waiting now for my appointment to have mine fitted. I’m not looking forward to it and wonder sometimes why I need it as I’m not very symptomatic, but I know they don’t fit them lightly. Hope my experience is as good as yours.

Ogilvie
Ogilvie in reply to Ronniesue

Good luck - let me know how you get on.

Hi Oglivie

Good post, Just a couple of questions, why did you need a pacemaker AF or Heart Failure or some other reason ?? Secondly did having the pacemaker allow you to come off any medication. I would love to get rid of a load of meds and I think I would swop my meds for a pacemaker should I ever be offered one .

Ogilvie
Ogilvie in reply to Prada47

I have Cardiomyopathy and it has caused my heart to weaken and become less efficient. This lead to permanent AF (I have had 9 Cardioversions, 6 within 3 months). On top of that my heart was not beating in synch. I am now fully dependant on my CRT Pacemaker and a separate ICD which monitors performance and is there to shock me if I need it.

Re drugs I am currently on Blood Thinner, Diuretics, some ant acid thing, Entresto and a Beta Blocker (I swapped Bisoprolol for Nebivolol and really felt the benefit).

Re Diuretics – I was on 5mg (5 tabs) and, with the help of Entresto, I have been able to work this down to 1 mg (1 Tab). I hope once I am on the full whack of Entresto that I can stop the Diuretic completely

Prada47
Prada47 in reply to Ogilvie

Hi Ogilive

I started on Entresto 2 weeks ago. I think at around £75 a month it will work out cheaper than a pacemaker !! Thanks for the information interesting.

Regards

Ogilvie
Ogilvie in reply to Prada47

The NHS picks up the tab in my case. My own sittuation has been improved by Entresto and CRT Pacemaker - something for you to consider.

Bigbrian
Bigbrian in reply to Ogilvie

Hi, I was wondering how your CRT has improved your symptoms? I’m waiting to get one fitted

Ogilvie
Ogilvie in reply to Bigbrian

Hi There!,

Its made a huge difference but, in my case, it did take a while. I got it fitted in April 2018 and I had an echo done in December 2018 and my EF had gone up from 28% to 39%. The CRT device also tracks your vitals and reports back to the Hospital on any issues.

Good luck with your Op.

Cheers

Ogilvie

No it’s there if ur heart needs it.

Hi

I am waiting on a CRT-D being fitted, cardiologist didn’t tell me anything about “burning out “of existing natural pacemaker!

Does this happen to everyone who gets it?

No, not everyone. In my case my own natural pacemaker (a collection of cells) was faulty and was ablated, leaving me fully dependant on my CRT pacemaker. I have a seperate ICD in my chest as well.

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