Capped off leads

Does anyone else have old leads that were capped off and left in place?

ive had a pacemaker since I was 12. So I now have capped off leads on my left side (pacer is now on my right side) that are 21 years old and have been giving me some concerns.

seems there’s not much research on how long leads are safe to stay inside your body...?

 

thanks!

Amy  


4 Comments

30 year old lead

by Swangirl - 2019-03-18 00:37:09

I have a 30 year old lead that isn't causing any problems and the doctor says it would be high risk to take it out.  I would have to go to a large medical center where they do a lot of these and have an experienced team.  Apparently there isn't much risk in leaving it in, other than maybe if you need an MRI but the newer MRI machines are able to work with old leads I'm told.  

old leads

by Tracey_E - 2019-03-18 10:21:25

I have one capped off from 1994, no problems from it. Like Swangirl, taking it out is more risky than leaving it in. I doubt there are enough of us with very old capped off leads to do a study but I've never heard of problems from it. My EP specializes in adult congenital so he sees a lot of old leads and wasn't concerned. They just sit there taking up space and making our xrays look interesting. Mine resembles a bowl of spaghetti lol, there is a picture in the gallery. 

thanks!

by Amyelynn - 2019-03-18 22:53:14

Thanks so much for your responses. I never really had any concerns until started having occasional discomfort right in the area. Then last week I had a shock/jolt feeling that I felt 20-25 times on the left side (where the old leads are) at my neck and chest area that lasted for about 1.5 hours. I actually was so worried I went to the ER. They took and X-ray and ekg and didn’t see anything abnormal. 😬 still doesn’t ease my worry as what caused that feeling?!! 

ive Had really bad luck with kaiser hospitals in northern CA but sadly that’s all I can go to with my insurance.

xrays

by Tracey_E - 2019-03-19 11:12:10

If something is going on with a lead, a radiologist probably won't pick up on it looking at the xray. You want your ep to take a look. If a lead is starting to fail, it will show up in the interrogation report also. EKG will just show your heart is beating normally. 

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