Pacemaker

I had a pacemaker fitted 3 days ago without being given any information about what to expect. I did not anticipate the degree of discomfort that I experienced during the procedure ( which had to be redirected after the first aborted attempt ) and bruising is now emerging up to 50cm around the incision. Can anyone tell me me if this is the norm' to be expected ?

17 Replies

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  • Yep, hour long procedure for one lead and I've still got vast bruising over left half of body (opted for under left armpit position). Even though it is done under local, it is still an invasive procedure. I had to ask for more sedative and to have some distracting music on during my surgery as I got a bit emotional once the tugging started. Also I did find that I had to be very proactive before the procedure to find out about it, using the Internet and British Heart Foundation docs to tell me all about it. I do recommend you getting there info booklets as they are very reassuring, including what happens next and an information number to speak to people about any concerns, including the opportunity to speak to a cardiac nurse.

  • Thanks sarat1, I was wondering if I had a bad doctor but maybe not. xx

  • Nope, my doctor was involved in my heart care since my open heart surgery aged 1 (I'm now 35) so it felt like a kindly granddad was in there with me and he even said I looked like I would look like I had been in a fight! It's not a pleasant experience and healing takes a while, particularly the aches and getting stamina back but the operation was definitely the worst bit. I assume when we eventually need a battery change it won't be as bad and the wires don't need changing as often.

  • Hi there, I had a pacemaker put in last April, it was most uncomfortable but I was warned about what would happen. Unfortunately, about three hours later one of the leads moved and it had to be done again! The bruising was so amazing, my husband took a photo! But I would go through it again as it has controlled my bradycardia.

    It will all settle down in time, and you will not know the pacemaker is even there.

    Take care and hope all will be well with you soon.

    Di

  • Thanks to both of you ( sarat1 & Ang3lc4ts ) You have reassured me that I didn't have a quack who might have left me with a substandard result. I do however think that somebody should warn us that a" little discomfort" should be expected and is not a result of a possible problem.

    xxx

  • P.S.

    I seem to have fared better than both of you, what a wooz I am ! LOL.

  • The discomfort seems to be a personal thing. Some get it and others don't as with other procedures like colonoscopy. I did not really feel any pain during my one just a bit of pulling and pushing. I was not very sedated and chatted to the consultant although the nurse later said that I had dropped off for a few minutes. Having watched YouTube videos of the procedure I could tell the stage he was at and could hear and commented when he was screwing the leads in.

    My pain came later when I developed a pneumothorax and had to have a chest tube in.

    Now day five and will be able to shower tomorrow. There is some discolouration and slight swelling and a bit of shoulder pain but I have not needed any painkiller since my chest was drained on Saturday. My only concern is from any slight twinge from that area that it might be back again but it is probably caused by not sleeping in my normal position.

  • Hi itsok - we speak with many people before and after a pacemaker procedure. Please give us a call (01789 867 501) or have a read of our pacemaker patient info booklets heartrhythmcharity.org.uk/w... Thank you.

  • Is it normal for a pacemaker to move ? I'm in the usa , I've had to have a pocket revision 3 times and getting ready to have it again. I've only had my pacemaker maybe 2 years no longer.

  • I had one fitted last year as an emergency. Didn`t know what was happening or what to expect! Was bruised but felt so much better once I had a good sleep. Very worth the discomfort for a few days. Feel like a new person now! Just don`t expect to be racing around for awhile. I was advised to be fairly sedentary until the leads were well bedded in (about six weeks) but once I had my check up I was free to do whatever I wanted!

    Can`t believe how well I feel! Best for years!

  • Fantastic tripup ! thats encouaging thanks.

  • Sorry, sticky "r" -encouraging :-)

  • Unfortunately leads do move and become dislodged. Do not stretch your arm directly above your head. Try not to lift heavy weights,try not to bend over to pick things up from floor/touch your toes, come into a semi squat position. Remember there may be scar tissue. Always have small pad over the area of the pacemaker when using seat belt in the car. This will help to cut down the friction.

    Keep well.

  • Hi Vivante

    The instructions not to stretch and bend and touch toes - is this in the first 6 weeks whilst it is bedding in or forever?

    Thanks.

    Jo

  • According to the information I have, it is forever. Try keying in 'Common pacemaker problems. Lead and pocket complications'. You may also find some info regarding Twiddler Syndrome. I do not have a pacemaker fitted but I do have a heart condition and I know how it feels when I try bending over to touch my toes, I wont even attempt it now. The British Wheel of yoga clearly stated in their paper 'common ailments' , the heart should not be lower than the head. To use another term 'the waist should not be over the head.

    There are many other medical conditions where a person should avoid bending over to touch the toes, osteoporosis, migraine/headaches, glaucoma, etc.

    I hope you will find the info.

    Keep well.

  • Hi I'm now on my 2nd pacer for a condition called Wenckebach (missing heartbeat) my first one was fitted in 2000 I had just turned 32yr, when after having a knee op they found i had a heart problem so I knew i was going to have one fitted but nothing of how it was going to be done etc, i was tranfered to Glenfield and that was when i got the shock i would be awake for it :-( well needless to say i freaked out, staff were brilliant explianing everything and was shocked that the hospital i had come from hadn't told me what to expect.

    whilst in theatre music they played was "I feel good" by James Brown which made me laughed, got asked not to laugh. 2nd fitted in 2006 and oh my that was horrible was done at my local hospital, was bruised badly after care awful and infection followed a few days later. My point is, brusing is normal, you may find once scar has healed fully it may still itch from time to time.

    If you are a driver, please look up for the medical form from DVLA as you do need to let them know you have a pacemaker. As for bending, do so when you feel ready but do wait for your 6weeks check up. No high impact sports or sudden reaching above shoulder height. my 3rd is due roughly late 2016- early 2017 and have said no if's or butts to family i want to go back to Glenfield.

    Welcome to the pacing world :-) gentle hugs and a speedy recovery :-)

  • HI THERE I HAD MY PACEMAKER FITTED LAST SEPTEMBER LASTING 2 HOURS ,QUITE TRAUMATIC,THEN A WEEK LATER THE THIRD LEAD HAD DISPLACED PUTTING ME THROUGH ANOTHER 4 HOURS IN THEATRE, YOU ARE RIGHT YOU ARE NOT TOLD ABOUT THE DISCOMFORT ,I JUST LISTENED TO TWO SURGEONS TALKING ABOUT THE INCOMPETENCE OF ANOTHER SURGEON ,IM SURE NO ONE BELIEVED ME , ,DO HOPE YOU ARE OK NOW TAKE CARE POPPYSTOREY

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