Did Any Other Women Have This Issue?

Hi everyone! In June 2020, I had two ICD surgeries in two days. Within hours of the first surgery, I could feel the ICD in my breast, far from the incision area. I told the nurses, but they dismissed my concerns. Then it started beeping. No one could explain why, and I'm concerned it's going to deliver a shock. I insisted on a chest x-ray, which was performed the next morning. The x-ray confirmed my suspicions: the ICD lead snapped and dragged the device down into the middle of my left breast. The repair surgery was scheduled for the following day. When I asked why the lead broke, the cardiology physician assistant told me that it was because my large breasts broke it, and since my ICD wasn't enclosed in a pouch, that's why it fell so soon after surgery. It was the broken lead that caused the beeping. 

When I was in the operating theater, my chest size should have been obvious. In my opinion, the surgeon made the lead too tight, and failed to enclose the ICD in a pouch. This is my first ICD; has anyone else had this experience? 



by AgentX86 - 2021-07-02 23:42:41

I'm a guy but what you describe isn't all that uncommon.  The way it happened to you might be cause for some legal discussions, though.  The pacemaker should be sutured to the pecoral muscle but they are known to break free and move around.   However, there is no excuse for the lead breaking and there is no excuse not to take it seriously.  It's migration should have been apparent though, as I said, this isn't rare. 

The tip-off is that they blamed it on your large breasts.  BS.  There should be a lot more slack in the leads than a breast could possibly move.  There has to be enough slack so that you can move your arm without restriction.  That's a lot more movement than your breast.  The device shouldn't be in the breast, either.  It should be under or above the breast, closer to the muscle.  Under the muscle would probably be better in your case but that's a different discussion.

Bottom line:  blaming you is unconsionable.

Migration is common, however….

by asully - 2021-07-03 03:03:23

Big breasts beings the culprit?  This does sound odd to me.  I have large breasts and this was never even mentioned as a potential "complication".  And as AgentX pointed out usually the device is sutured down if in a place it may migrate.  My first two abdominal devices were not surured and I had minor migration that took place over years, not days.  3 and 4 both were sutured in place (in fact I believe fhey asked me on both if I wanted them sutured and I said yet.

I also agree with AgentX that it shouldn't have migrated far enough to dislodge a lead.  The explanation just seems odd.

Good for you for advocating for yourself

by Persephone - 2021-07-03 18:10:56

I think you should consider reporting this to your state medical Quality Assurance advisory board or similar if you don't get more satisfactory explanations from your provider or medical facility.  Clearly your health and progress forward are much more important than taking the time to submit a complaint, but from your description, it sounds like you should have been provided better care.

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