Sick Sinus Syndrome

Hi All

I had an MI about 13 years ago and I was stented. Since that time I have continued to have chest discomfort.

About 5 years ago I suddenly blackout at home. Initial diagnosis was a stroke or fit. All of the tests proved negative but still the chest discomfort continued. Since I have had 2 further blackouts with the latest one diagnosing that I had a seizure. I have been left with more chest discomfort and periods of shortness of breath, not down to any exericise. I had no joy with the hospital so decided to use my private medical insurance to get a 2nd opinion.

This cardiologist has done a ECG and scheduled an echo plus a 7 day tape as he believes that I have sick sinus syndrome. Apparently this was apparent within the ECG and the fact that the discomfort is worse when relaxing confirmed this.

It was nice that someone actually listened to me, I was beginning to think that it was my mind playing tricks with me.

Assuming that SSS is confirmed then at this stage I am not sure if he is looking at insering a pacemaker or an ICD. Apparently what is going through the cariologists mind is that the "thing" will be very expensive and it is unlikely that the NHS will fund the insertion. I might be happy to do this myself but wondered if anyone on this forum has a) had a similar issue and b) how it was resolved. c) done a similar thing but had the NHS do any follow up work?

All comments gratefully accepted.

2 Replies

  • To confirm the diagnosis it's very important, while your heart recorder is running, to keep an accurate and detailed diary of exactly when you get your symptoms and what you are dong at the time. This can then be correlated with the ECG record to see if the symptoms relate to inappropriately slow or fast heartbeats.

    If your cardiologist thinks that a pacemaker will help your condition then he/she can arrange it as an NHS patient (provided that you are a UK citizen) but you would have to go on the normal waiting list. There should be no question of the NHS not funding it – more pacemakers are implanted nowadays for sinus node disease (SND) than any other reason. SND is never fatal (so long as you're not driving) so waiting a bit longer won't lead to any harm. A private pacemaker op costs around £8,000.

  • Jonathan

    Thanks for getting back to me. I currently have the tape fitted and have been recording nearly everything.Sometimes you do wonder if you are recording too much information. But I guess more is better than not at all, just strange that give such a little form to record your details over a 7 day period.

    Hopefully this will give the information required and I can get back out on the golf course and playing with my grandchildren, without having a shortness of breath or experiencing chest discomfort.

    Thanks again.