Stinging and discomfort

I had my pacemaker implanted three months ago but I still have occasional stinging and discomfort especially at night. I'm 70 years old and quite active but wondering if this is normal. I spoke to my cardiologist several times he said give it longer.. any help would be appreciated.



by Tracey_E - 2021-02-17 17:48:37

It can take a while longer for the scar tissue to build up and it to get numb but it should get there! Stinging and random shooting pains can be the nerves knitting back together, a normal part of healing. Any time we are active before it's fully healed, we can aggravate the scar tissue. Have you tried ice? 

Same here

by TLee - 2021-02-17 20:30:05

This is funny, because I came here with a question about the same sort of feeling! I've had my pm for 3 weeks, so was hoping everything was nearly healed. Last night I woke up at some point & felt like I was in a position that was putting strain on the implant site. I felt a kind of pulling & some pain, so I changed position. Then I woke up this morning back in the same odd pose :(  All day today the site has felt more tender & painful, which made me think, Oh no, what have I done?! Glad to know it is fairly normal in the healing process. Whew! 


by Persephone - 2021-02-17 21:01:23

Yes, I also experienced occasional tugging sensations probably up through at least 6 months after implant.  Having a pillow to hug helped me get to sleep.

Standard feelings

by Theknotguy - 2021-02-17 21:26:15

As TraceyE said, it's normal and can go on for a while.  I had stinging pains that would happen at unusual times.  I'd just be standing, sitting, whatever and I'd get a stinging pain right in the incision area.  It would last for a few seconds and then stop.  Quite normal and nothing was wrong.  

Some people report "ant bites" where they will get small stinging feelings.  I volunteer at a wood shop and would be Ok during the time I was working, but the next day it would feel like someone wrapped my pacemaker in sandpaper and scrubbed it around.  All normal.  The pain from working in the woodshop started at nine months out.  I think in total, some of the unusual feelings went on for a couple of years.  

I hope for everyone they have a good adjustment to their pacemaker and can get on with their life.  

Stinging still persists

by Nana Barb - 2021-03-14 22:26:57

Thank you everybody for telling me that nothings wrong. I feel so alone and unsure if somethings wrong. I'm feeling when I haul wood or do any raking that that really irritates it and I have way more discomfort at night. I haven't found that Tylenol or ibuprofen helps but ice does seem to help, any other ideas to help the discomfort stinging? 

I do understand your concern

by Gemita - 2021-03-15 07:20:57

Dear Nana Barb,

Since your original post was made almost a month ago, it might be better if you re-post your response yesterday "Stinging still persists" as a new message.  That way everyone will see it, otherwise unless they return to your original post (February 17th) which is probably unlikely, they won't see your recent comment.

I wish I could help.  I know I had a lot of discomfort around my device for months and like you I often found the more I tried to get back to doing normal things, the more I could feel the discomfort.  Until your pain symptoms resolve I would try to pace yourself activity wise and try not to unduly irritate the area.  

Find ways of hauling wood and raking without it causing problems.  Have you got a little trolley where you could place the wood and push it from one place to the other instead of perhaps carrying it, and with the raking, can you reduce the amount you are doing, or leave some for tomorrow?  Pacing our activities still gets the work done but prevents us from getting into trouble with joint pain, exhaustion and device implant discomfort.  

Can you perhaps cover your device with padding in case you are getting some friction rub over your device as you carry out your activities, especially if your device is prominent which it usually is initially.  I was always protecting mine from being rubbed under my bra strap.  Rubbing of any kind may trigger this burning sensation (irritation) you are getting.

If all else fails, go back to your doctors to see whether they can give you some topical cream to try or if they can do a range of blood checks to rule out any allergic reaction to the materials in the pacemaker device.  It rarely happens but it can.  Maybe a short course of medication may help but do speak to your doctors for guidance and reassurance.  Good luck


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