Pacemaker Implanted 2 Days Ago!

Hi All!

I just had a dual chamber pacemaker implanted on Thursday 13/July. My symptoms were immediately cured, and I'm super thankful! The pain immediately afterward and the first night was so bad that I couldn't sleep and could barely walk to the bathroom. Last night I took an Ultram that I have for migraines and was able to sleep while propped up on the couch, but the pain was still a 5 or so (all relative, I know.) The pain is much better today, but I've noticed chest pain when breathing (not constant,) and when I walked to get the mail I was short of breath (boo!) and had chest pain (the same as before the pacemaker implantation.) Is this normal during the recovery process?

My EP is on vacation for a week, and the cardiac cath lab is closed because it's Saturday. I don't want to go to the ED for something that isn't an issue/is part of the recovery process. Any advice is appreciated!



by Lavender - 2023-07-15 22:38:57

Sorry that you're having pain. I do think if it was me and chest pain was involved, I would go to the emergency room. Having some pains while healing is part of it, neck pain, perhaps arm pain or muscle pain, soreness at the surgery site. Chest pain especially with shortness of breath should be checked out, especially if it feels as you did prior to your device implant surgery. 

Let us know what you find out. 

Agree with Lavender if your pain continues

by Gemita - 2023-07-16 03:25:34

Hello, firstly welcome and happy to hear most of your pre pacemaker symptoms have been in your words, “cured”, except the intermittent ?shortness of breath and chest discomfort/pain which I see you experienced before your implant too.

I can understand you don’t want to make a fuss or to visit the emergency department, but I feel you should at least speak to a doctor for advice if the pain continues.  Following implant surgery we can experience chest discomfort and this can be a normal part of healing, but pain on “breathing in and shortness of breath" can also be due to other causes, including an infection, inflammatory condition or even a complication following a procedure like an ablation which I see you had in late June 2023, or following a pacemaker implant, and may need treating.  

I hope for the best for you


Additions to Original Post

by thepooper - 2023-07-16 03:43:32

Hello All!

Thank you for the comments! I apologize for any confusion in my profile info, the ablation was in July of 2021 and I was diagnosed late last month with Sick Sinus Syndrome and Chronotropic Incompetence, which were caused by the ablation in 2021. 

My journey, like many others, has been difficult, confusing and not straightforward. My symptoms were immediately cured with the pacemaker, albeit for 24 hours or so; I could breathe when walking, even briskly, my heart rate was 100-110 (when it wouldn't get past 91 previously,) and I had no problem walking to my condo when I arrived home later that afternoon. I guess I just don't know what to expect during recovery and that's why I'm unsure as to my next course of action. Also, since I lived so many years with chest pain and constant shortness of breath, I truly don't know when to be concerned. If I still have the same shortness of breath and pain when I take out the trash tomorrow, I'll head to the ED.

Thank you both!

My apologies

by Gemita - 2023-07-16 04:08:41

I can see now you were referring to your diagnosis of Sick Sinus Syndrome and chronotropic incompetence in late June 2023, not to an ablation.

Inappropriate Sinus Tachycardia can be so difficult to treat/cure and to distinguish from other atrial tachycardias, although I see that you have a loop recorder implanted (I did too) to give your EP important info about your rhythm disturbance(s).  

I appreciate what you are saying about having had chest pain for so long that it is hard to know what might be a new symptom?  I have chest pain with my arrhythmias when they are prolonged.  I can get short of breath too.  Unfortunately as you will know, the pacemaker by itself cannot stop a fast arrhythmia from occurring, although it will effectively treat a slow heart rate.

While I was healing from pacemaker implant for Bradycardia/Tachycardia  syndrome, syncope, I had some chest discomfort/breathlessness for a few months because of increased arrhythmias.  An increase in arrhythmias can occur after implant while the heart is settling down.  A setting called Rate Response made my symptoms even worse until settings adjustments were made.  I also have signs of chronotropic incompetence.

Hopefully you will see "lasting" improvements soon when you get used to pacing and adjustments have been made to your pacemaker.  Of course your inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST) may still continue following your implant if the ablation was not completely successful?  If IST is causing the chest pain/shortness of breath, your doctor may decide to do more to try to stop your symptoms but it is still early days following pacemaker implant, so hopefully symptoms will improve without further intervention

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Today I explained everything to my doctor, he set my lower rate back to 80 and I felt an immediate improvement.