Sleepless nights

I had my pacemaker implanted last Tuesday and I've got a tell you when I'm not having muscle spasms, I feel much better.

However, getting a good night rest seems to be out the question, when I laydown I guess I tweak something and here we go headed for the ice pack and trying to get comfortable, sometimes they’re painful. The odd thing to me is that the spasms are not at or around the incision site but below and to the right (implant on the left) at times I have a sharp pain on my left side. All this can be reduced by hugging my ice bag.

After reading many posts I was under the impression that I would be good to go by now, maybe a little soar but not the level of discomfort that I’m having at times. I guess my question is, is this normal for some?

I wonder just how rough my cardiologist was



Hope your discomfort eases soon

by Gemita - 2022-04-04 13:38:53

Sandsave, I see you had your implant last Tuesday, barely a week ago.  You are bound to still be sore and feeling pain coming from different areas, not necessarily confined to the implant site either.  For example I had sharp intermittent pain left of my implant and going into my left upper back.  It is not hard to understand how this might happen when they have to work around nerve and muscle tissue and to place our leads through delicate blood vessels.  

I don’t think we can necessarily blame the level of discomfort you are feeling on the surgeon.  We recently did a survey and long term pain (over 2 months) following pacemaker/ICD implant was fairly common.  Of course if you are at all worried about any new sharp spasms or chest pain, please let your doctors know since chest pain is best checked to be safe. 

But to answer your main question, yes pain following a pacemaker/ICD implant procedure seems to be common and some of us may need extra help for the first 6 weeks, or longer, depending on the nature of your pain and whether you are suffering from any complications?


by Good Dog - 2022-04-04 13:40:56

It is hard to know exactly how and why you ended-up so sore, but I would say that it is pretty normal. For your initial implant the doc has to make a pocket under your skin. That can leave you pretty sore. Generator changes in the future will not cause as much soreness. They are a "piece of cake". The first week or two is always the worst when it comes to soreness. You should be turning the corner very soon. If I were you, I would not place the ice directly on the incision site, but around it instead. It does sound like that may be what you are doing. So I am guessing that all is good and you are on the road to feeling much better soon!

I wish you the best!



Pain after pacemaker insertion

by Selwyn - 2022-04-04 13:55:43

Hi Sandsave,

Whilst we all have different bodies and experiences, you may be interested in this Club members survey about pain and pacemaker/ICD insertion:  ,

bearing in mind that those replying to the survey are a select group!

Certainly,  ice would seem to be popular for pain relief, though the survey mentions other ways of help. Even the positioning of pillows to stop you rolling at night may be helpful.  However, it is early days yet, after all the poking about,  it does take time to let tissues heal.



Sleepless nights

by sandsave - 2022-04-04 14:30:17

Thank you for your feedback.

I’m so thankful I found this site and for all the information I’ve gleaned. My cardiologist is a man of few words, not unusual I’m guessing, I bet I haven’t spent more than 15 minutes in conversation with him and I saw him three times in his office pre implant. As others have said, the manufactures rep provided a tremendous amount of knowledge and I look forward to visiting with him again. It would, however, of been nice if someone would have taken the time to tell me what to expect, that sure would help minimize the freak out factors. “Wait what was that, is that normal, why do I feel like this, I’m I going to be okay” and so the thoughts build on each other through the night. If the doctor or someone would have said something like “hey this is going to hurt for a few weeks brace yourself” I think what’s going on between my ears would have been easier to deal with.,_a_rare_complication_of.62.aspx

by lukerbee - 2022-04-04 15:47:31

need to read this. Chuck

Sleepless nights

by sandsave - 2022-04-04 17:10:03

Interesting thank you

Phrenic nerve stim not that rare

by Julros - 2022-04-04 17:44:38

From the article linked,  phrenic nerve stimulation occurs about 30% of the time, with  clinical significance 3 to 26% of the time. I would label that as rare. Plus, if patients don't report it because they don't understand what is happening, then how would clinicians know if its significant? 

Similiar to the pain survey, if clinicians don't tell patients what to expect, and don't follow-up, then how do they even know what patients are enduring? For myself, I felt like my follow-up appointments were focused on the device, and not on me. 

In addition to pillows, sleeping in a recliner may help. 


by MinimeJer05 - 2022-04-04 18:56:59


As many have already said, it is far too common to experience pain for quite some time. I had my PM implanted in Sept of 2021 and I STILL have issues sleeping on my left side or on my back angled towards my left (depending on arm placement too).

I just generally feel sore or tender around/near the PM area and on my side in general.

I've grown to get use to it and mostly ignore it, but the pain is still there.

I hope it eases for you soon!



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Pacemakers are very reliable devices.