ICD armpit restriction


I'm just shy of 3 weeks post op and have noticed when I try to move my left arm across my chest to wash the right side of my face or just to reach across that way it feels like the ICD/pacemaker sticks out into my armpit restricting how far I can move my arm across my chest. Has anyone else had this? Did it resolve with time/healing or is this something I need to learn to live with?



Armpit restriction/discomfort

by Gemita - 2023-09-22 04:55:17

Chloe, three weeks on is still early days and you will be feeling more in the way of discomfort.  Of course whether this will continue will depend how close to your armpit your device has been placed.  If very close then even after healing, allowing for any swelling, tightness, other symptoms to fade, you might continue to have some intermittent discomfort.  For example, I can still feel my “pacemaker” when I am in certain positions or with certain movements of my arms and this can make me stop whatever I am doing and to get into a more comfortable position.  My implant was in 2018.  

ICDs are slightly larger than pacemakers, so might cause more in the way of early discomfort.  If your device feels loose in the pocket under the skin, or seems to be overly mobile though, I would always report this to your doctors until you know what is normal for you.  On the whole though what you are describing would be very normal for most of us at 3 weeks post implant. 

I hope you will soon be feeling more comfortable and that you will stay safe with your ICD protecting you from any dangerous events

more time

by Tracey_E - 2023-09-22 09:46:14

It may settle in more with time, it may always stick out when you move your arm. As scar tissue builds and you heal fully, you should be able to move your arm unrestricted. Be sure to show it to your doctor at your follow up. If it's excessive and doesn't settle into a better position, they can go back in and reposition. 

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