I am a 30 yr old mother of 3 with a pacemaker. I have had the pacemaker for 3 years in July. It was originally placed because of a severe problem with fainting. My heart was stopping for nearly 50 seconds(documented) during these syncope episodes.
The pacemaker has basically cured this problem. At my last visit they said it was working 25% of the time. Whatever that means. But now the pacemaker unit has shifted for the second time. I had a pacemaker revision 6 months ago when the unit moved out of the pocket and was actually eroding the tissue and skin. The pacemaker unit both times is at skin level and ready to puncture thru the skin.
I saw my cardiologist yesterday and he says he absolutely has to be redone. However he wasnt sure whether to try again with the existing site or move the unit to my right side. Both has its pros and cons.
My question is how often does someone have to have a revision twice and is it worth the risk of removing the leads to have it in a new sight without the painful scar tissue surrounding it?
From what my pacemaker friends have said about removal, the leads are not removed. If you've had the leads in for awhile, they become embedded in the heart tissue so they don't shift. The unit itself can be removed and replaced. If they move the pacer to the other side, the leads will be clipped short and left in place. I have a friend here that has extra leads coiled up inside. I'll see if he'll drop you a note and explain this better.
Some folks have their pacers put under muscle, not just skin. Perhaps that would work better for you. Ask your doctor about it.
The 25% is just how often your heart is being paced. So it's working fine on its own 75% of the time, and 25% of the time the pacer kicks in to keep your heart rate where it should be.
I agree with ireneo about putting it under the muscle. I had a pacemaker put in three weeks ago and my doctor recommended putting it under the muscle because of my age (36). He said it would be better in the long run but would take more time to heal. You should see if your doctor can put it under the muscle on the side you already have it on. Good luck!!
I had my first pacemaker inserted when I was 44 years old for an ablation gone wrong. Then I had a three wire pacemaker inserted 2 years later. Now, ten years later, the pacemaker has come out of the muscular pocket and the tiny wires are poking up under the scar. My cardiologist doesn't think the wires will erode through, as scar tissue is tougher than normal skin. He said he'd like me to keep the device in until I need the batteries changed. It feels creepy, and when I lift my arm over my head it looks like an elbow protruding. Not a nice situation for a divorced woman, but, nothing much I can do. If the wires were to protrude through the skin, the doctor said to go to the ER right away. I have to agree, it is a bit uncomfortable/painful. Hope this helps!
I am trying to find out what the probability or even the % of pacemakers moving around in a patients body is. So far I have found nothing on the web. To me that means one of two things. Either they don't want to talk about ablations or the people who have experienced ablatons really didn't have an ablation, they must have imagined it.
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