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Can Pacemaker Implant Cause CHF?


I got a pacemaker in June of 08, and it had to be removed. It was replaced a week later, and had to be removed again in 2 weeks. Everything pointed to a healthy heart (including an angiogram), so the only problem was tachy-brady and PVC's.

When I got the first PM and came home from hospital, I started having chest tightness, weakness, flushing, dizziness, swelling in lymph nodes in the armpits, headache, slight raspy breathing at times, generally unwell feeling, but no swelling in the feet and legs. In other words, I have most of the symptoms of CHF.

I've been so busy going back and forth with my cardio doc about implanting a coated PM that I haven't really discussed my symptoms with him.

My questions are:

*Since I had no such symptoms until my PM was implanted, is it possible the PM or PM surgery damaged my heart?

*Can you have CHF with no significant swelling in the feet and legs?

*What other condition could mimic CHF?

Many thanks,,,

Bob A.
2 Responses
391561 tn?1227047215
Hello Bob, I'm Steve. I am sorry to hear of your general feeling of unwellness. I can relate. I had ICD implant 4/08. Also suffer from CHF. I AM NOT A DR, so I am just passing along some info for insight. Please be guided by your Dr.
   You can have CHF and not show swelling of legs and feet. It is possibly determined from left or right heart problems. Left heart problems ( poor LV EF, e.g.) may show more in Lungs and stomach, whereas right heart problems may show more in legs and feet. Nor always, but generally.
   That being said, from your comment about lynph nodes, I would probably be more concerned about a possible infection. You did not note why your PM had to be removed. I suspect with your noting 'coated PM' that perhaps it was an infection? Since most of your test results pointed towards 'a healthy' heart, I would be optimistic that perhaps antibiotics or other treatment would help.
  When we fear heart trouble, it can truly cause anxiety. I hope that you can relax somewhat and wait until further info comes in. Hopefully your only heart issues are your heartrate ( brady/tachy), and the coated PM takes care of that, and Dr's resolve possible infection. Good luck, and keep us posted. - Steve
Avatar universal
Hi Steve,

Thanks for the reply.

I got my first PM nearly 5 months ago. I was put on strong antibiotics the day before and the day after the original PM implant surgery. I came home from hospital with lymph nodes swollen and full feeling in stomach and chest. Since I had never had a PM before, I attributed it to the PM or the surgery.

3 months after original implant, the original PM incision began to get red and erode. They put me on IV antibiotics. Cultures were negative. At this time they removed the PM and leads, and implanted another on the other side. Within 3 weeks, they had to remove the second PM and leads because of the same problem. The cultures were still negative.  All the while I was getting doses of heavy-duty  IV antibiotics. So I have had more than my share of antibiotics.

PM is out right now, awaiting implant sites to heal. They will be implanting a coated PM in "hopes" that it will not cause inflammation or low grade bacterial colonization. (whichever is causing the inflammation and erosion)

The very first time I felt the distressing chest fullness and discomfort was then I was put on the IV antibiotic Vancomycin. They infused it way too fast, and I was miserable. Chest hasn't felt right since. Wonder if Vancomycin toxicity can damage the lungs?

Best wishes to you. Hope you are doing well with your CHF.  

Many thanks for taking the time to help,

Bob A.
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