I'm 19 years old. 3 months ago I went in for knee surgery. While I was in recovery they found me in 3rd degree heart block. I was sent home with a heart rate of 40 they thought it was just the pain meds. With in four hours I was unconscious on the bathroom floor with a heart rate of 15 quickly fading. I was rushed to the er and put in cardiac short stay for the night. They ran test after test to make sure anistisa had nothing to do with it. (Wich it did not) they discovered if I would not have had the surgery I would have had less than three months before I dropped dead. I now have a permanent pacemaker that works 78% of the time because my heart dosnt. They have no idea why still I was in 3rd degree heart block. Any sugestions? Any sugestions on dr. In Boston area? Any advice? Any test I should see about having done?
Sorry to hear you had such a tough course after your knee surgery. It is difficult to know exactly what is going on without knowing more about your history and seeing you in person, but certainly having 3rd degree heart block (also known as complete heart block) is a very serious matter! You must have seen an EP (electrophysiology) cardiologist to have your permanent pacemaker placed and normally various tests would have been done to evaluate causes for your heart block (echocardiography, EP studies, holter monitors, cardiac MRI, etc). In a young person, heart block is usually caused by structural abnormalities in the heart or infiltrative processes like sarcoid or amyloid. Sometimes infectious processes like Lyme disease can cause conduction abnormalities in the heart. There are other causes as well, and it is tough to know what caused your heart block without knowing more about you. You should definitely see a cardiologist on a regular basis. The Boston area is full of very good academic medical centers with some of the best cardiologists in the country (Mass General, Brigham and Women's, Boston University, etc). Hope you get your questions answered soon.
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