Lead extraction/new PM surgery friday…looking for tips!

Hi everyone! Im new to the club, I've had my current device for almost 11 years and my lead is 17 years old. Im getting a replacement this week and going from one lead to two lead left bundle pacing because I developed wenkebach two years ago and my current system isn't working for it. Because I'm young it was suggested to get my old lead removed so I will be doing that as well. 

Those of you who have had laser lead extraction what can I expect for the procedure/recovery? Will the groin catheters be painful afterwards? I know I have to be on bedrest for hours after my procedure so I'll be staying the night.


I've read some of the other posts about lead removal and reading about the experiences has definitely calmed my nerves a little bit but still scared because of the risks.

My surgeon does specialize in extraction and I'll be at a big university hospital.


Would love any tips on recovery/what to expect for my procedure and success stories, words of encouragement. Thank you!


Lead extraction

by AgentX86 - 2022-05-16 22:21:27

I can't help you with the lead extraction part but I've had many femoral vein catheterization. The vein is relatively easy. You'll have lay still for a couple of hours (in addition to some credit for completing the procedure and recovery). Femoral artery catheters are more involved because of the pressure.  Most of the times I've only had local anesthesia, so I isn't bad at all. You might ask about collagen plugs. They reduce back time significantly.


by ROBO Pop - 2022-05-17 00:00:11

Relax and leave the driving to your surgeon. I had 3 ancient leads removed 6 years ago, the surgeon told me all 3 just popped out no problem. I remember giving the team a hard time during the procedure, I insisted the last surgeon was looking for his lost watch so if they saw one it belonged to him. When they found out who the surgeon was and realized he was cheap so no reward would be offered, they lost their enthusiasm for the search.

Piece of cake. Enjoy the ride...honest

Laser lead extraction

by JaneJ - 2022-05-17 01:37:00

I had a laser lead extraction a few years ago.  It wasn't too bad.  You are under general anesthesia during the procedure.  They put an arterial line in at your artery in your  wrist to measure your blood pressure continuously.  Then, after the procedure I went to stay one night in the cardiac icu, then was discharged the next day.  I don't remember any pain from the femoral line.  They usually remove that before you wake up from the surgery, so you don't have to worry about that too much hopefully.  I was so nervous also, but everything went smoothly.  I also went to a very large university hospital.  Best of luck!  I bet you will do great!

Lead extraction/replacement

by RioTeresa - 2022-05-17 17:04:13

Hi Marahhoffman! I had a triple lead extraction/replacement in February 2011. At the time of my pacer replacement in October 2010 my cardiologist discovered that my ventricle lead had fractured but there wasn't enough time to book an OR and cardiothoracic surgeon for my surgery (pacer was in bad shape and old leads were the "hook" style!) so he thought we could get away with just capping off my 15 yr-old ventricle lead and implanting a new one in the same vein. I was still miserable after surgery however, short of breath, fainting spells, weak. It was discovered that the new lead and the atrial lead were fractured a short time later which meant all the leads would need to be extracted and new leads implanted. Anyway, the new surgery was booked and they did a transesophagal elctrocardiogram first and implanted a temporary pacer, then carefully removed the old leads with the cardiothoracic surgeon on standby there in the OR. There were no complications! Then my new leads were implanted and my new pacer re-implanted and everything was over in about 5 hours. I had to lay on my back for a few hours after surgery and stayed in hospital over night, but was released the next day with no complications! Everything went well. I expect everything will go very well for you because it's doubtful that you have the old "hook" style leads to begin with. I wish you ALL THE BEST!! 

Lead extraction

by Finn - 2022-05-20 12:14:42

I had my pm for only 9 years, fractured lead, tendril leads, st Jude pm.

no the groin incision is not painful, of course done under anesthesia. Heals quickly.

im glad the leads were removed, oh they ended up replacing both my leads. Recovery took awhile, I had some plurasy , fluid around the heart, short of breath for some time.

sunce than I've had my battery/ unit replaced, mri compatible.

that's about it.

I’m confused.

by PacedNRunning - 2022-05-22 02:24:43

They are adding a lead due to wenckebach? Wenckebach is not an indicaton for a pacemaker. So perhaps the settings need to be adjusted. If you didn't already have a pacemaker they wouldn't place one for wenckebach. So are you getting 3 leads Total? One atrium and one in each ventricle? Or just left and atrium? I would be getting a second opinion. 

just my thoughts. 

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