Only 4 days after PM op

Hi I am a newbie to this site and also to having a pm. I had op last Thursday. 

I am 57, live in UK and all my life I have had Predominantly cardioinhibitory automically mediated syncope with a heart stop of 18 secs, although this was only fully and properly diagnosed 18 months ago. Finally 2 weeks ago I agreed to the pm and had the operation last Thursday. 

I am still shocked that it has come to this although I clearly understand the help it can give me, although never a cure as I have both a blood pressure and a heart rate component. 

My problem is coping now. I am terrified of pulling out the leads. How do you do things without lifting your left arm. How do I blow dry my hair? Put my hair in a ponytail etc silly things !!! 

I have an induction range cooker which I have been told not to use. When it’s turned on and in use ( by my husband) how far away do I need to be?

How easy is it to pull out leads? And how would I know? 

Sorry for all the questions. 



by Tracey_E - 2019-08-12 11:09:06

It's very difficult for us to pull out a lead. They can move on their own the first few days, after that the restrictions are precautionary and if one does come loose (contrary to how it may seem reading posts here, it happens in well under 1% of patients) it's not likely anything we did.  After we get past the healing period, we are not going to pull it out. After a year they are in so tight it takes a special laser to get them out. 

You would know a lead is displaced because it would stop pacing so you'd feel like before you got it. It would also show up on the interrogation report.

Hair, I had my stylist wash it for me right after surgery. After that I got pretty good at doing it while not raising the elbow higher than my shoulder.  We can (and should) use the arm, just don't stretch it overhead. Know that everyone does it by accident, no one gets through 4-6 weeks without a slip up. Some doctors don't even give those restrictions anymore. I've seen my doctor go from 6 weeks to 2 weeks. There is plenty of slack between where the lead comes out of the vein and where it connects to the box, often enough that they coil it and tuck it behind the box. That means it's nearly impossible to tug on it hard enough to detach all the way down in the heart. 

I've used an induction stove. I was told use caution, not to not use it at all. Most things have to be less than 6" away from our device before they can cause a problem so keep that in mind and 

"How easy is it to pull out leads?"

by CatDad - 2019-08-12 11:26:24

Lots easier if you have some scar tissue where they try to screw in the lead tip. But that's not really you "pulling it out"; it's more the tip refusing to sufficiently auger into the spot where your EP tries to plant it.

My earlier CABG left some scarring in the right ventricle so my first lead placement popped out, slid down and began pacing my diaphragm. Same thing would have happened if I were immediately wrapped up like a mummy and totally immobilized or if I went straight home and brachiated from tree to tree in my back yard. Totally independent of arm movement, my problem was.

Second attempt to screw it in was successful and I'm now approaching three happy months with a perfectly functioning PM  :-D

Dangerous cookers

by Gotrhythm - 2019-08-12 15:22:47

Read the post below yours with subject line "Induction stove tops." Induction coils sometimes come with a printed warning about pacemakers, but it's all a big CYA written by lawyers, not doctors.  Pacemaker manufacturers--who ought ot know--say there is no danger.

There's practically nothing you can come across in ordinary life that is more dangerous to you than to anybody else. Nothing. But in case you are ever worried, simply keep 6 inches between your pacemaker and the object you're not sure about. As long as you don't lie face down on the cooktop while preparing a meal, you're okay.

Of course, I don't think you have to tell your husband there's no danger. As long as you can convince hubby he's saving your life by doing all the cooking--well,  why not let him be a hero for a while?



by SandyJ - 2019-08-13 07:19:33

Thank you all, the comments are very helpful. It’s all so new to me, very scary!!! 


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