I had my ICD fitted yesterday and it was an incredibly traumatic experience.
I was supposed to have dual chamber ICD fitted by due to complications they could only get one lead in.
Basically, whenever they tried to place the lead in certain positions I started to feel my throat close up, like I couldn't breathe and started getting dizzy. The only way I could describe it is slow suffocation.
The first time it happened I tried to wait as long as possible before saying anything as, obviously, I expected some discomfort and pain. It often felt like someone was standing on my chest throughout the surgery. But then it progressed and it felt like a foot was slowly pressing down on my throat, reducing my oxygen supply. I waited for the feeling to ease, but it didn't and the room started spinning, so I struggled to get out what words I could.
With the knowledge that a lung puncture was possible, this was obviously my first thought, but they said it wasn't that.
They paused, the surgeon stopped and it felt like a weight was lifted. But when he went back in, the same thing would happen. He tried a dozen or so more times, each time waiting to see if the feeling started again. It often did until he was able to find one lead placement position where it didn't.
The surgeon said something about "hitting the third wall" and he thinks that was what was causing my body to react like that.
That was only the first lead, when he tried to do the second lead it happened again, and so often that he aborted that lead altogether. He said his only other option would be to puncture to get it into a different position and he didn't want to do that.
Surgery lasted nearly 2.5 hrs and he admitted, it was a difficult case
Emotionally and physically it was a lot and definitely more than I bargained for. However, I am still having slight tightness in my throat/chest when I take deep breaths.
I had an x-ray and echo before discharge to check the leads and for any fluid and they gave the all clear. But given it was apparent most people in the operating room didn't have a clue what was going on during the surgery, except the surgeon who said he's seen this happen before, albeit rare, I am worried the recovery/discharge team have missed something.
They have said if I get breathing difficulties, the pain doesn't subside with painkillers after a few days or if I have trouble eating to come back, but I feel really anxious about the days ahead.
Everyone who I have spoken to who has had an ICD says they have never heard of this happening during surgery and I can't find anything online.
Has anyone heard of / experienced similar?
You know you're wired when...
You play MP3 files on your pacer.
It is just over 10 years since a dual lead device was implanted for complete heart block. It has worked perfectly and I have traveled well near two million miles internationally since then.