BiV ICD“flickering”

Hello, this is my first post, and I am so glad to have found this group!

I had an Abbott (formerly St Jude Medical) BiV ICD implanted Nov 12, 2020, due to dilated cardiomyopathy and LBBB. While I feel significantly better than I did before implantation, I do have what I call a "flicker" feeling intermittently - it feels somewhat like a tic feels in your eyelid. No pain, but it is noticeable. 
Is this normal, or should I advise my EP? My next appointment is Dec 17th.


Welcome Talismom

by Gemita - 2020-12-03 02:32:43

I see you had a bi ventricular ICD, known as cardiac resynchronization therapy with a defibrillator - (CRT-D) - implanted very recently.  I am sorry to hear about your intermittent flicker sensation.

The flicker sensation could indicate several problems and I would advise a quick telephone call to your clinic for advice and hopefully reassurance until you can see them on the 17th December.  You say though that you feel significantly better since pacemaker implant so this would be a very good sign for me.

Sometimes a nerve can get irritated during implant causing this flickering sensation that is hopefully only temporary, but it could also indicate other problems, like pacing ones due to your settings or due to your leads.  Your pacemaker may be over sensing for example and you may be feeling this as a flicker.  Your clinic may want to see you earlier if they are at all concerned which is why it would help to let them know what is happening. 

Of course a flickering/fluttering sensation can also be felt with certain heart rhythm disturbances (I get this often) and only an in hospital check of your pacemaker and heart can really determine the cause and whether any treatment is required.  But please be reassured that these sensations may also be perfectly normal so soon after implant and could well settle without any intervention at all!

When you ring your clinic be prepared to answer questions like the following:

.  Other than flickering, what other symptoms do you have? (e.g. ? breathlessness, chest discomfort, dizziness)

.  when do you get your symptoms?  Do they happen at the same time each day for example?

. How long does the flickering last?

It may take a little while for your pacemaker and your heart to settle down following implant and for your settings to be adjusted to suit you, so try not to worry unduly.  If other than, say, experiencing a brief intermittent flickering sensation you are relatively symptom free, I would be hopeful for a good outcome.  Good luck 

Thank you!

by Talismom - 2020-12-03 03:43:47

Great information, Gemita, and I will be calling my EP tomorrow to check up on the fluttering/flickering sensation. I have had experience of light headedness generally shortly after the sensation, so I suspect it could be an adjustment needed, based in you said. I have a remote monitor (Merlin) that does a full download once weekly and that may give my doc more data as well, since it does record anomalies.

To be honest, I'm just getting used to the device - it's still in the itchy healing stage, and because everything is new I question it all. Dr Google isn't as thorough or as helpful as you are, so I thank you for your wonderful assistance! 

Follow up on CRT-D “flickering”

by Talismom - 2020-12-12 01:10:15

Thought I'd give you an update on what my doc said about the flickering/ticking feeling that I've had with my CRT-D. 

He was kind of taken aback by the question that I had and we did have quite a discussion about it. As it turns out, I do have quite a lot of activity on the cardioverter side, and because it's not a consistent feeling, I notice it. I suspect it may be the same thing that you feel intermittently, Gemita. 

At any rate, instead of being a concern, I now regard the feeling as a positive thing, in that it indicates it is working to keep me going. I like that a lot better!


Great positive feedback . . .

by Gemita - 2020-12-12 06:54:11

EB and you sound cured already.  I am so glad you had such an interesting discussion with your doctor and that he could see you had done your homework.  I bet you did surprise him!!  Your new positive outlook is going to carry you far.  I am so pleased for you.


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