My first PM was implanted in 1980, when I was 14 months old. I have a complete heart block, so PM dependent. Right now I am bi-v paced and have epicardial leads.  I have had too many complications to list due to mistakes that were made along the way, including multiple lead failures. I had open heart surgery in 2017 to repair SVC syndrome which is why I have  epicardial leads.

My extremely long and complicated medical history leaves me concerned .  I'm already dealing with lead impendence, which means my settings aren't optimal to preserve battery life. My latest device (2/2022) will need to be replaced within 2-3 years  

I am scheduled for an upper endoscopy which, to my understanding, may include electrocautery.  I understand that overall this is a very safe procedure, but I'm concerned that the physician didn't ask any relative questions about my PM.  He doesn't even know the location (right side).  He did not request my medical records  

I plan on calling their office to follow up with these questions.  But I'm wondering for those of you who have had procedures done that could pose a risk to PM function, what precautions or considerations were taken?

Thank you for your help.  





by Lavender - 2023-04-05 10:55:33

I had an endoscopy and colonoscopy in February. I have a Boston Scientific CRT-P. I didn't need electrocautery. I did have a colon polyp which was removed with cold forceps. I asked the gastroenterologist to get approval from my cardiologist. Make sure your cardiologist is onboard!

Endoscopy precautions

by Julros - 2023-04-06 01:19:38

The endoscopy center had me to a tele-visit with a nurse practioner where she reviewed my medical history and heart function. Her main concern was about my Eliquis, which was held for 48 hours prior. I did not see the gastroenterologist until the day of the scope, but I asked and he reassured me that cold forceps were typically used, and the electrocautery they may have used, but didn't,  was safe with my pacer. 

Follow up

by Titan311 - 2023-04-07 10:13:14

Thank you for your replies. I have a hard time just trusting that they know what they're doing, considering how many mistakes have been made on me over the years. 

The facility hasn't inquired as to where my PM is and kind of just said "we deal with this all the time."  They don't have any special protocol.  They did not obtain my medical records. They did not contact anyone from my cardio team.  No anesthesiologist either. 

I think maybe I'll just tell them absolutely no electrocautery, because to me they seem unprepared.  Thoughts?

Two thoughts

by Lavender - 2023-04-07 19:15:12

You're understandably gun shy!

-Call your cardiologist yourself and see if they're ok with this procedure. 

-Call the manufacturer of your pacemaker and ask them if this is ok to have electrocautery. 

Here is Medtronic's link to copy and paste showing acceptable procedures and ones that require a bit of caution:




You know you're wired when...

You know the difference between hardware and software.

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I am 100% pacemaker dependant and have been all my life. I try not to think about how a little metal box keeps me alive - it would drive me crazy. So I lead a very active life.