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severe left hand swelling after pacemaker implantation
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severe left hand swelling after pacemaker implantation

Hi,
My Dad has a history of diabetes,chronic (but stable) kidney disease because of diabetes. The kidney disease does effect his ability to produce red blood cells so he is watched closely for his anemia with H&H counts. He has twice in the last year had mysterious stomach/intestinal bleeding which causes the anemia to get worse quickly. Each time being hospitalized and transfused. The most recent ER trip also revealed he was in A Fib and he proceeded to have a "5 Second pause" after being admitted and on the monitor. He had a triple bypass over 10 yrs ago. He is 83. His cardiologist feels he has had these "pauses" before and will have them again. Which, she feels, makes him a danger on the road, and would consider revoking his license. So, 3 out of 4 Dr.s she consulted with reccommended a pacemaker once his H&H counts came up and his bleeding seemed to stop.
He did have the pacemaker implantation done before he left the hospital, they kept him one night more for monitoring. Immediatley upon coming home his left hand began to bother him and within 24 hrs was severly swollen and extremely painful. His cardiologist when called on that day did not get back to my parents until 5 PM and said he would see him before other patients the next morning at 8:15. Meanwhile, my sister who lives nearer than I stopped by and was not comfortable waiting until morning. She was afraid of infection at his age and we both agreed we would feel better if the call was made by a professional seeing him that evening, so she took him to the ER. The doctor admitted him. The next morning his cardiologist came in saying he wanted to rule out a blood clot, as his blood tests seem to be normal. An ultrasound of his arm and shoulder and as close to the heart as they could get safely, ruled that out. They were still, however, treating him with IV antibiotics to be on the safe side. They kept him another night and released him today saying it was a result of his having extremely small arteries and veins (which we had heard many times before). And that snaking the wires through those small veins irritated them somehow and was causing the hand swelling. He said, it could take a couple weeks to subside.
My sister and I are at a loss to understand how this makes his hand swell? Is this a common occurrence after implanting a pacemaker? I am trying not to worry but I am. Anyone ever hear of this?
I also, have another question in regard to his limitations once he is all healed and settled back to normal. He is not your typical 83 yr old and he goes steady and multiple hobbies and yard tasks. It is great that it keeps him challenged and moving. However, he is bi-polar and even when in low-manic mode he does not use good judgement regarding risky behavior. He had just used a chainsaw to cut down two trees in the woods out behind his house only a week or so before his hospitalization. He also has the hobby of restoring and working on antique outboard motors. The word "antique" meaning they don't start and and he is continually pulling the start chord over and over and over and over. His Dr said no to these activities, but my parents are under the impression it is just until he heals. I do not believe so. I believe he would be in danger of dislodging either or both of the wire leads. We need to know definitely whether or not he can do this. Like I said, he is one for risky behavior even at the ripe old age of 83.

thanks,
msladyfish
I
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63984_tn?1385441539
Wow.   What a post.  What a man!  I'll bet your life was fun with him.  I tip my hat to him.

I don't know what would make the arm swell if unless it was a blood clot, but I'm not a health professional.  Is he left handed?  Was the pacer inserted on the left side of the chest?  

I know something about old outboard motors, and have a hunch their electrical systems could be a problem for a pacemaker.  The same applies for old chain saws.  I'd suggest you frame that question to the manufacturer of the pacemaker.  They all are set up to answer questions just like that, I know, as I have a pacer and also work with pacemaker reps as a Peer Navigator at our hospital where I volunteer.  This type of question is very common.  I'd find out the manufacturer, get the model and serial number and call them.

Best wishes, and also the love you have for him shows.  I'll bet he was a real pistol all his life.

Keep us informed.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi, my mom got her pacemaker impanted one week ago and her hand and forearm is also badly swollen. All I've heard is "don't worry" but I can't help it. If you got some answers please share them with us, I'll do the same.
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