pacemaker change


Just wondering if anyone else here is in a similar situation to me.

I was really poorly in 2002, my heart failed and i was on ICU. Dialated Cardiomyopathy was the diagnosis i was given. Leter that year i had two ablation procedures performed but to no success. I actually ended up with burns on my back - has this happened to anyone? I then had my pacemaker fitted. I work in a hospital and see my technician around quite regularly, on thw wednesday i asked when she thought i may need my pacemaker changing and she said my type of pacemaker lasts 10 - 15 years. I had my check up the day after and was told i would need it changing in the next month. Should i be worried that my pacemaker hasnt lasted as long as most?

Also, i have a huge fear of it being changed - Does anyone know exactly what they do? Im terrified :-(



by patpeter - 2008-07-27 07:07:33

The pacemaker change is easier than the first surgery because , usually, you don't have to have the leads put in because they are already there. It's done as an outpatient procedure so you are home the same day. It generally is less recovery time as well and you don't have the arm restriction like when the first one was put in.
I don't think you should be worried that your pacemaker is being replaced , it depends on how much you use the pacemaker so everyone is different, some last a short time and some longer, it's no problem.
Things should go well for you, so hang in there and keep us up to date.

What took you so long?

by ted - 2008-07-27 09:07:06

From your history, it sounds like you should have gotten your pacer a long time ago. It's funny how we humans sometimes resist change, even for the better.

Pacemaker life

by ElectricFrank - 2008-07-27 11:07:37

10-15 years is a very unusual life for a pacemaker. 5-8 years is more the norm. A lot of it depends on what percent of the time it is pacing and whether it is pacing one or both chambers. With your ablation procedures I would guess your pacer is doing a lot of work.


by pete - 2008-07-28 03:07:05

Ive never heard of that one but at the same time you say the ablations were unsucessfull. Does that not tell you something. I would suspect the doctor who carried out the ablations was not very experienced. I would make sure the same doctor does not replace your pacemaker. Cheers pete

pacemaker life

by Freshfemale - 2008-07-28 05:07:12

Hello ElectricFrank! Love the name lol well it was only 6 months ago i seen my PM tech and she said i had ages left then had it checked on Thurs and thats when she dropped the bombshell lol i and they thought i would have it from ten to fifteen years with my type of pacemaker. However when i was there on Thurs she noticed my heart was beating iregularly which has worried me more than the thought of getting it changed lol but im sure they wouldnt send me home if i was in any danger plus i still have this one using its last bit of power lol Thanks for replying by the way :)

What took you so long

by Freshfemale - 2008-07-28 05:07:24

Well... When i first got poorly my heart rate was at 260BPM lay in the hospital bed and they said my heart wouldnt be able to cope and had failed and so put me on the transplant list, then after 9 days on ICU and all the medications i had, my heart started to slowly slow down, but never went under 120, it was always racing, then they were seeing how well i would be on the medication, then another consultant from another hospital said he wanted to try an ablation, 2 failed then pacemaker came into shot and if im honest, im very glad i have her lol and not the new heart! she's been my little life saver for the passed 6 years. I didnt how ever find the cause of the problem but we do think it may have been hereditry as my mums dad died when my mum was 9 and so by this time, the notes had been destroyed and a distant cousin on my mums side, her son died from the exact same thing but it had gone undetected, the only way we found out was because i was vomiting for 4 days straight with no food or water intake, they actually thought it was a tummy bug or food poisoning and my mum took me to A&E and tht night my heart failed whilst i was in hospital, im a very lucky girl.


by Freshfemale - 2008-07-28 05:07:35

Hi Pat

Thank you for replying, and making me feel better! Im a pain scaredy cat lol and of needles too, which seems odd, considering the amount ive had in the passed 6 years lol but every needle still makes me feel dizzy lol

I will keep you up to date and thanks again!

Take Care

burns on back

by Freshfemale - 2008-07-28 05:07:50

Hi Pete, It did tell me something yes lol and we did try to put a claim in but another good cardiologist from London wrote a letter supporting that the radiation could burn through the skin even though i wasnt given any warning at the time, i was very thin and they said that could be why it happened. Never met anyone or spoke to anyone who has experienced this.

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