beating in left arm

Thanks so very much, Smitty...and Gellia2, for the info. Saw my Dad tonight. He is walking much better, quicker and more sound steps. I think he expected a miraculous recovery, wanted to feel better instantly (as the Doctor said he would). I told him what I'd read from the "clubmembers" and that all recovery times vary. I will call the Doctor on Monday. They did not schedule a follow up appt. for him after he was discharged from the Hospital. II called the office, and they said my Dad will meet with someone from Medtronic, at their office, in 3 months. This I do not understand. Is this a normal procedure?
Thank you again. You guys are my lifeline!!!!


follow up Medronic

by bowsue - 2007-07-21 11:07:02

Note to the Medtronic followup. I had one immediately it was inserted in the hospital and one after one month. Ask them when you have their test, what they are looking for and if the leads have lodged in the right place and how you are pacing, ie. I pace 94% with the pacer and my heart paces 6%. The Cardio doctor arranged this follow up in his office.

It seems we all have the same problem with the follow up and who is supposed to do what. I also met with my Primary Care doctor who was better and more re-assuring than both the other 2 drs. put together.


Dad's PM

by CathrynB - 2007-07-21 11:07:10

Hi Angela. I think your Dad's doctor misled him about what to expect in recovery if he thought he should feel great in less than a week. And I'm very surprised they don't plan to see him til 3 months post op. I've never heard of anyone waiting that long for their first check. Usually the doc wants to check the incision to make sure it's healed okay, hasn't developed any signs of infection, and make adjustments to the settings on the PM. Most of us needed adjustments several times before they got the settings that make us feel the best possible. I'd be concerned about their not wanting to see him til 3 months.

I'm glad to hear your Dad was feeling better when you saw him tonight. I'm a very active 50-year-old who got my first PM in January, and it was two months post op before I quit taking daily afternoon naps (not something I did before surgery). I felt great when I was awake after the first 2-3 weeks, but I could tell I was healing and needed more rest than usual. Did they tell your Dad not to lift more than 10 pounds with the arm on the same side as the PM, and also not to raise his arm above shoulder level for about 6 weeks in order to reduce the risk of pulling the electrical leads out of his heart muscle? It takes a while for scar tissue to form firmly around the tips on the leads, and if a lead is pulled he'll need surgery again, so that's a very important piece of the discharge instructions. I hope they covered this with him.

Glad you found PM Club, and keep bringing your questions here. It's a great group of warm and caring people, and your Dad is fortunate to have you to help him understand what's happening and what to expect.

Take care, Cathryn

Dad's PM

by SMITTY - 2007-07-21 11:07:17

Hi Angela,

Every doctor follows his own procedure on pacemaker implant follow-ups. I’ll give you as brief a run down as I can on how mine have been handled.

At the time I got my PM this hospital had two electrophysiologists and they were each implanted more than one pacemaker/ICD every day. In addition they had a staff of some four to six nurses who did nothing but PM checkups. When I was discharged after my one night stay, I was given an appointment to return in three weeks for my first checkup.

No one could have had less trouble than I did. The incision site was a little sore fore a few days, but it bothered me so little that my wife was constantly telling me “you shouldn’t be doing that.” I returned for the first checkup, which took about 20 minutes and I was given an appointment along with a telephone modem, for a telephone checkup in three months. I had the telephone checkup which took even less time the office visit and at the end of that I was given an appointment to return to the office in three months. That has been my regular checkup cycle for the seven years I have my PM. However, I started having a few problems – the thing was shocking the daylight out of me – and I would call the office and be given a time to come in within 24 hours.

The three mo. and three mo. cycles have not changed. The in between checkups (and there were many of those until about two years ago) because of my complaining did not alter my regular schedule. I’ve had two checkups by Medtronic personnel. From talking with them I gathered that the three-month schedule was standard for Medtronic pacemakers.

As you can see this facility where I got mine is setup to handle a lot of PM patients. From what I have read here on the PM Club site not all doctors adhere to such schedules. It does take special computer equipment that must costs several thousand dollars and specially trained personnel to do these checkups. It is my understanding that the PM manufacturers will provide personnel to do the checkups so I would not be surprised if doctors, especially those in a private practice, do avail themselves of that help.

Now with all that said, if your dad has a problem that he thinks is caused by his PM, he should call his doctor and keep calling if that is what it takes. Tell him the axiom “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” applies when it comes to getting problems with a PM corrected.

I hope others can tell you what kind of checkup schedule they have so that you can get a good comparison of how it is done by the various doctors.

Good luck to your dad,


You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

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