old leads

My wife is 49 and has had a pm since the age of 9. Back in the day pm were placed in the abdomin.
Her xray looks like a map of the united states.
We were told that the wires (leads) were not a problem to be left in.
Does anyone have any experience or studies or opinions if this would ever be a problem.
I am sure some are fractured.
At some point she will get a scar revesion to replace the very large scar and tissue from the many battery replacements.
They will free the leads from the scar tissue and cut them at some point, but leave what ever is left.
These existing disconnected leads have been in place for almost 40 years.
Any info, studies are appreciated.
Steve in the O.C.


old leads

by swilson10 - 2007-03-31 03:03:18

I have 2 leads remaining in my heart and found out yesterday that I am being referred to a MD in LA to perform the extraction surgery and replace the atrial lead that is not functioning right now. My understanding is that there are very few MD's on the West Coast willing to do this work, as it can be dangerous. I would be happy to share more information with you about the doctor I have been referred to if. Just send me a msg and I will be in touch. Best wishes to you and your wife. Shanna

old leads

by patriciapeter - 2007-03-31 07:03:42

hi Steve, I had to have a lead replaced in Dec. and they left the old one in too, so now I have 3 leads. My PM is under my collar bone so I don't have any in my abdomen but my MD said that leaving leads in is not a problem. I agree with the comment above that it's not that easy to take them out. So I hope that helps a little, take good care and let us know what happens.

I have two sets

by tricky45 - 2007-04-02 08:04:05

Pat, I have an old set floating around inside me, still implanted into the heart but not attached to any device as well as my other leads which are currently attached to my pacemaker. I have been told there is no problem with this as they are not in free fluid movement and that tissue grown over them will hold them in place, it is very difficult to remove old leads as they have barbs on the end to hold them into your heart and pulling them out can rip heart muscle. Very few surgeons believe it necessary to remove them.
I also look pretty cool on xray LOL
Take care

old leads

by colldoll - 2007-04-10 11:04:58

I am 47 and have had a pacemaker since I was 19 - I have many old abandoned leads - 5 Years ago I had a percutaneous lead wire extraction due to " excess hardware" They aimed for 6 and removes 3and a half one broke which left me on coumadin in case of a clot - I am off the coumadin - but now need a new unit - there is no room for new leads so I need another extraction (not happy about that)- That scares me as my leads are so old I was in surgery for 11 hours last time but he says they improved the surgery since then I am hoping they can find room and skip the extraction I hate to be under and would prefer to skip the whole thing I have had an excess of old leads for years and never had a problem - I use Dr. Jay Gross at Montifiore in N.Y. I trust him so I guess It's his call - I go for an interigation on April 17th - I am very bad about my check-ups I am so use to this that I get a little to lax- I do my trace a pace on the phone and if something is wrong trust me they will call- Wish me Luck!!

laser the best, heart rate range low after

by sfconstrct - 2007-10-19 11:10:43

It is my understanding that laser extraction is the new thing, the only way to go.
Ironically I thought my wife might need an lead extraction in the future so I inquired at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo, Ca.
They recommended Dr. David Kawanishi who is the staff cardiologist and has a background in laser extraction.
Ironically I needed him first as I found out I had a bi cuspid aortic valve and would need it replaced in the future (this was several years ago).
Dr. Kawanishi has a great reputation and did a very nice job in tracking and doing the many test.
I say irionically because couple years ago while playing competive basketball I got my first dizzy spell and went down, came back but knew it was time to visit him as I wasn't going in every year like I was suppose to, I was still running at a pretty high level.
Anyway little over year and half ago I had my valve replaced. By Dr. Alfrado Trento, Cedar Saini. Trento did a great job and Dr. Kawanishi is a great cardiologist.
I will have another post about my wife.

As she just got her pm replace by Dr. Kawanishi. He did a great job as the previous Dr. Jeff Finer did a very bad job 5 years ago.
Anyway Dr. Kawanishi found it odd that the old pacer only topped out at 120.
Anyone heard of that?
Anyway he did a great job of replacing the old unit and creating a nice pocket, as the previous dr. Finer, didn't bury it at all and you could almost read the serial numbers on it, you could also see the leads where it connected to the pm. Very ugly, especially on a very pretty woman.
anyway the new job is much better, it took Dr. kawanishi almost 4 hours to seperate the old pacer, leads etc. from the scar tissue and create a proper pocket so it wouldn't be so unsitely.
We also found out that Dr. Finer nicked the lead upon battery replacement 5 years ago.
Dr. Kawanishi thinks the lead is still working o.k. even with the silicone patch.
However bottom line she started jogging yesterday and went today for a check up and they said it only topped out at 110, made some adjustments and she just got back from jogging again and although it is hard to tell appears that the range is still on the low side although it is set to max out at 170.
Any thoughts anyone.
Sorry for the long wind, turned one response into two.
s.f. in the O.C.

Old Leads

by Cyphyress - 2008-03-27 12:03:05

I'm the guy who has had 6 pacemakers since 1972,....my name is Cyphyress.

Old Leads

by Cyphyress - 2008-03-27 12:03:15

I have had 6 pacemakers since 1972, and am heading towards my seventh pacemaker before eventually getting a heart transplant. I have had leads from second pacemaker that were implanted in 1974, and were left in me when I had my third implant in 1985. They are still inside of me with no issues thus far. I guess when I get my transplant that won't ever be an issue anyways. I don't if that helps. The idea of lazer surgery to remove old leads is a costly venture - if you live in the States [I live in Canada]. I once inquired about it and was told that it was possible "only" if complications arose.

You know you're wired when...

Lifetime warranty no longer gives peace of mind.

Member Quotes

We are very lucky to have these devices.