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Breathing problems after pacemaker/defib operation
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Breathing problems after pacemaker/defib operation

My Mom just got out of the hospital after having her implant.  She is having a difficult time breathing when she moves or talks. She doesn't really have much of an appetite and can't get comfortable to sleep.  She went bck to the doc yesterday and they noticed that she had fluid around her heart and her device wasn't in sync with her heart.  They called themselves tweeking the device and told her to see how it works for her but nothing much was said about the fluid around the heart. When I asked the doc about it he said that she had a really bad heart and she would have some fluid there anyway.  But he also said that she had more fluid then was in the hospital (which is where they first saw fluid).  I was really confused because I heard that its dangerous for fluid to be around your heart.  My Mom's cousin died a few years ago with that problem.  Can you offer some advice for me.  I will be calling the doc back tomorrow and let him know she has not gotten any better.
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Hey carol i read your post and i think what you are talking about is common after what your mom had done in the surgery which is pericardial effusion or an accumulation of blood or fluid around the sack of the heart.  Difficulty breathing is one of the symtoms (symptoms) of this and better than 50% if patients get it.  Alot of times what happens is it takes a couple of days for it to re distribute throughout the body in adjusting to have the equipment put into her body and in making room for it because the body doesn;t recognize it as some that should be there.  What you need to do is help her be a little more comfortable with the breathing situation so she may want to sleep in an upright positon for a couple of days with a few pillows behind her so that she is in a normal physical position for drainage.  If the breathing gets worse or you notice her nail or toe beds have a tinge of blue or obviously her lips or tip of her nose you need to make a call as soon as you can .......just ask the docs what their plan is to get the fluid out of her chest cavity because she is so uncomfortable........i hope she feels better soon.......
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How long ago was the implant done? Is her ICD a three lead one? This could be what was out of sync as these ICDs are to keep both sides pumping in sync to reduce further heart damage. They probably made a program change to try to correct this. If her breathing is painful or becomes much worse she should be seen right away. This could be a sign of something serious but it could also just be normal healing process after the surgery if it was only done recently. Make the doctor take the time to explain things so that you both understand what is going on. Keep asking questions until you are completely satisfied. It is your right to know.
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