Awaiting my pacemaker implant on 16/1/19

Hi everyone, totally new to pacemakers. I am looking for some advice please.   New Years Day my HR dropped to 37 bpm for a short while, then returned to normal. Fortunately I captured an ECG on my Kardia machine and forwarded on to the Cardiologist. I had an appointment on the 7th Jan the ECG showed complete heart block. I am having a dual chamber pacemaker fitted on the 16th Jan.  I am wondering are there any pertinent questions I should ask the cardiologist, or any beneficial things I should look into before my surgery. I had a BAV replaced in 2012 and a successful Ablation for Atrial flutter in June 18. I do get occasional Atrial fibrillation which is well controlled with 40 mg Verapamil twice a day. Also, what is the time frame for recovery please?  Any help would be much appreciated.

Thank you

John


3 Comments

Recovery

by Charli - 2019-01-12 12:01:18

Assuming no complications the surgery to implant a pacemaker is about an hour and should be day surgery. The implantation site may be sore for up to 2 weeks but this can be helped by taking regular paracetamol assuming no liver problems.

I found it helpful to have some slip on shoes during this time, as moving arms around to tie shoe laces was uncomfortable. 

You will not be allowed to lift your arm nearest the implantation site above shoulder hight for 6 weeks to allow the pacemaker to settle into its site so button up  and zip up tops can be handy.

Travelling home after the device has been fitted you are probably best sitting so the seatbelt does not go over the site for comfort - i found i had to sit in the back seat! I dont know if you live in the UK but if you do the DVLA will need to be informed of your change in health. I dont believe you are allowed to drive for 2 weeks but has been a while since my last PPM surgery. 

Other than regular check ups on battery life and lead quality pacemakers tend to look after themselves and shouldn't cause any trouble.

Good luck with the surgery!

John

by IAN MC - 2019-01-12 12:32:48

Best of luck for Jan 16th; for most people the procedure really is a piece of cake and no worse than going to the dentist.

Just to clarify on Charli's comment. You have to notify the DVLA  as soon as you get the implant and are then allowed to drive 7 days after the implant date.

Ian

Post implant

by Theknotguy - 2019-01-13 11:03:54

John:

For some people post implant doesn't go as smoothly as stumbling over a cobblestone. Some people will experience a little more pain than others and the healing of the implant scar and underlying tissue can go on for a while. How long?  Depends upon your condition prior to going into the implant and how your body heals.  The pain can go on until the outer tissue heals and,  for some a little longer.  Fortunately for most over-the-counter pain killer medication is all that is needed.  

I just don't want you to think you'll be up and playing cricket within a fortnight when you might be feeling like a lorry ran over you.  Each person heals at a different rate and yours may be longer than others.  You might also experience "ant bites" type of feeling as the nerves heal.  Then a few months  out you may have severe itching as the underlying tissue heals in the pacemaker pocket area.  

The biggest thing is to keep a positive outlook and not go whinging over every little twinge you might feel.  

I, of course, wish you the best and hope you are one of the people who is up and about very quickly.  
 

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