My sister had a pacemaker installed two years ago at the age of 31. She has been considering plastic surgery to hide the scar, but she doesn't want to do it if it is going to mean undoing the work to maintain her pacemaker. How often do pacemakers require further surgery? I would assume that would happen often enough to not bother. Any thoughts?
This is a personal preference. Generally we do not revise these but if your sister would like this can be done with little disruption of the pacemaker. Just have the plastic surgeon check with the cardiologist as far as setting the pacemaker. Any surgical procedure may temporarily cause the pacer to sense this as an extra beat an may inhibit the pacemaker.
I just read your question about your sister. I am 26 and I just had my 3rd pacemaker implanted. My first was when I was 10, that lasted 5 years, the second lasted 11 years(which is really a long time according to my doctor), the one I had just had implanted should last anywhere from 5-7 years according to my doctor. I think plastic surgery is not the greatest idea. If she needs a pacemaker for the rest of her life, they will no doubt cut over the same scar again and again. The scar is minimal anyway, tell her not to be so concerned with it. She can get non-surgical help from a dermatoligist or a make-up artist that specializes in corrective make-up for scarring. There are great products out there that can temporarily hide the scar for a special night out if thats what she is looking for. Look up Cabot Laboratories Inc, from N.Y. THey make corrective concealer. I hope I helped some.
I have had to have a few pacer related surgeries. I even had one scar revised by the head of plastic surgery. But, the shoulder area is a tough place to mantain a scar. It is a place of movement and scaring is almost certain. It can pull, no matter what you do over time. The plastic surgery I had done, looks worse then if I had left the scar in the first place. The scar may fade in time, and if she really wants to have something done, maybe get two opinions. When I want to go out and wear something low cut, I use a make up stick and you can't really see the scar. Good luck.
I agree. I just got my first replant last Tuesday. I now have two small pacer scars (new & old), one open heart scar & two catherization scars (leg & arm). last week I was on a cruise and I wore my teeniest blank bikini. I have keloid skin so my scars are a little thick, pink and pronounced, but with time they fade nicely. Please don't do it. You'll regret if you do. You will need to get the pacer changed way too often. I am thankful for my pacer, it not only saved my life but it allowed me to life one fully.
Smiles & Cheers
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