PM Flipping

Hi,  Wondering if this is a normal thing. 

I woke up lying on my side as usual and I stretched my arm up and notice my PM was up on its side. Totally freaked me out and made it a very restless night the next night.


Pacemaker Flipping, not a good sign but can happen

by Gemita - 2024-01-03 04:08:48

Hello Wendells, yes I have known this to happen but it could lead to problems if it keeps occurring and the device is not secured.  

Our devices are usually sutured to the underlying tissue at implant to prevent movement or flipping but this isn't always the case, or a suture may break before our device is securely embedded into tissue. 

An Xray might be in order to check position of the leads and to see whether they are where they should be.  The concern is that if it keeps flipping it could damage the leads although they usually leave plenty of slack to allow for some movement. 

Flipping or manual manipulation of your device could eventually lead to lead dislodgement and device malfunction, resulting in a loss of capture which would cause symptoms.

I would get some checks for peace of mind and if it happens again, try not to forcibly push it back into position but seek help.  Watch for any unusual symptoms and report these too, but if you are feeling well, chances are that the "flipping" pacemaker if it was a one off, has caused no lasting harm.

Flipping PM

by Wendells - 2024-01-03 04:38:34

Hi 👋  Gemita

Thank you.

It doesn't flip right over but stands up on its edge. I've been told it is quite dangerous if it completely flips.

Will definitely be getting it checked. It freaked me out.


by piglet22 - 2024-01-03 05:17:20

Definitely get it checked ASAP.

It might be a one off but if it's done it once it can do it again.

One of the characteristics of coaxial leads as presumably used in pacemaker leads, is that there is a minimum bend radius that must be adhered to to prevent "noise" being introduced into the already small signals being measured.

The electronic design of the pacemaker will have high levels of noise rejection caused by normal lead movement, but it has limits.

It would be useful to hear how you get on.

There are patients called twiddlers who do fiddle with their device, but it's a bit like Dirty Harry, did I turn it once or was it twice?

Mine leans over too

by Lavender - 2024-01-03 12:04:00

When I lie on my right side my pacemaker leans forward too. It's attached only on one side to my body. It's snug to the right side of the pacemaker but the left side leans forward. I just keep a small pillow up against the pacemaker in bed with my left arm draped over to hold it if lying on my right side. 

Mine too

by atiras - 2024-01-03 16:48:17

Mine does this regularly when I'm lying down. Advice from cardiologist: we won't rebury it (I'm a transplant recipient so the risk of infection is too great). I'm female so I'm wearing a sleep bra with extra padding above the pm but a small pillow would do the job too.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker receives radio frequencies.

Member Quotes

The pacer systems are really very reliable. The main problem is the incompetent programming of them. If yours is working well for you, get on with life and enjoy it. You probably are more at risk of problems with a valve job than the pacer.