One Year CheckUp - Only 1.6% Usage?
Just in from my first annual check up with Medtronic Surescan that was implanted May 2018 for Second Degreee AV Heart Block. Had issues with implant procedure that required two more trips to the hospital, including an extended stay on high-dosage antibiotics after the incision came open. Took six months to convince the doctor to lower the setting to minimum Heart rate of 40 and no max (I am youngish - 46 - active, fit with low resting HR previously). In December 2018 I was pacing 5.5% of time before they lowered the lower setting (I could feel it at night). No issues whatsoever since the December visit and lowering the low rate to 40.
Today I went in and learned I am now only pacing 1.6% of the time. The original implant was diagnosed and placed within a week, without much time for consultation or review. I do not have an EP - only a cardiologist. I asked today if I need the PM since the 1.6% seems to be just the device doing it's thing. The doctor didn't have a very good answer - just said it was already in.
I also asked if something else could have caused my symptoms last year - I travel overseas (Asia and South America most recently) a lot and at the time of implant had odd bloodwork that my primary care physician wanted to look into further but the cardiologist told her I needed the PM ASAP due to complete heartblock (charts say 2nd degree...). The cardiologist today did admit that an infection or virus can cause temporary symptoms that mimic heart block and can be treated. This was a lot of information to take in and I didn't know what to ask.
While driving home I began to wonder if the antibiotics they gave me for the PM implant infection and issues could have resolved a latent tropical infection that was causing the heart block symptoms and maybe I don't need the PM after all.
Anyone ever hear of anything like this? I mentioned removal of the PM in a year if I'm still not using it and the doctor made a joke about all the problems with the implant and if I wanted to risk that again (totally botched incision and implant, requiring two more procedures and the gift of C. Diff.). I always felt like this happened very quickly with no real warning. My fortune cookie this week said to trust my instincts...:) I am considering going to an EP if I can find one to get a second opinion. Not sure what I would do if it turns out I don't need a PM and have one.
Any input is greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.