Hard Lump at Incision Site

I am 65 and received ICD surgery on April 2. The level of pain, for the first 3 days afterward, took me aback. However, I am no longer in pain. I am pretty sure that there was no infection. The scar line has healed very neatly, no leakage, no discharge and the bruising has almost completely disappeared. 

My concern is that there is a hard mass (bulge) under the incision area which has not gone away. Is this a cyst, a keloid or the device itself? Will this go away on its own or should there be some kind of intervention? 



by Persephone - 2021-04-19 18:22:21

Hi Wn - great to hear that your discomfort has eased and you're not experiencing any signs of complications.  Regarding the "lump" - you can get an image of your device from the manufacturer's website to get some understanding of its dimensions.  Traditionally-placed (subcutaneous) devices can often be felt (and seen) through the skin.  You may be feeling an edge of your device, for instance.  My advice would be to leave it alone and let the area continue to heal, but also write down questions you have for your medical team for when you return for follow up.  Of course continue to keep a close look-out for any of the complications that you describe and call your doctor if you have concerns.

Hard lump at incision site

by Gemita - 2021-04-19 18:55:10

Hello Wncrow,

Difficult to give a remote diagnosis without seeing the problem.  I would get someone to take a pic of your device area and send it to your doctors for an opinion, or better still, go and get it looked at to be safe.

As you had a lot of pain and bruising initially, I wonder if the hard lump could be a pocket haematoma?  This is a common complication I believe following an ICD implant. If this is the problem you would be best getting early advice since there would be a risk of infection.  Hopefully if it is a haematoma it will disperse without intervention.

How does the area look?  Does it look inflamed or swollen?  I would be guided by how it looks and feels.  As you are no longer in pain, I would be somewhat reassured.  Let us hope as Persephone suggests, it is just the outline of your device with perhaps a little swelling which could all be part of the normal healing process.  My device was prominent (so was my husband's) and I had a bulge for a month or so but it slowly reduced.

Good luck


by AgentX86 - 2021-04-19 20:51:10

Sweeling is perfectly normal as it heals.  You're only a couple of weeks from your implant so still going through a lot of healing.  In the next few weeks that lump willl dissappear.  Depending on where your PM is implenated (under the skin or under your muscle and how large you are, you may feel a lump from your pacemaker.  What you're seeing now is just swelling as you heal.

As long as you keep an eye on any possible infection (it sounds like you're on top of that) you're good to go.  Sorry that you had to go through the pain.  Some of us have a lot of pain, others virtually none.

Anyway, welcome to the club.  It's too bad you're qualified to join.

I was fooled

by TLee - 2021-04-22 16:33:47

I explored my site as soon as it began to heal. I would run my hand over the scar/incision area & think, What the heck is that? I could feel a really noticeable ridge or bump that I thought must be some part of the device really near the skin. Eventually, I realized that the area where I felt the hard ridge was at the actual incision. That really didn't make me feel any better, as I thought I'd have a massive, bumpy scar. Three months post-surgery, it is really beginning to fade away & I don't feel the hard ridge any more. Good luck healing & feeling better (and yes, I found the initial pain to be ummm, aback-taking?)

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