Swelling at insertion site



I had my pacemaker put in 10 days ago and yesterday I noticed swelling around the device/pocket. It's not red, hot, or painful. The incision looks really good and seems to be healing well. The swelling is more like a bump, best way I can describe it, if I flatten my shirt over it you can see a bump or lump. Is this normal? Do I need to go to the hospital? Thanks 


Hopefully just part of normal healing

by Gemita - 2024-03-03 05:55:23

JayR, you have partly answered your own question:  “it is not red, hot or painful.  The incision looks really good and seems to be healing well.”  That suggests to me that at 10 days, the swelling may be a normal part of healing or the lump/swelling is your actual device!  However if the swelling keeps increasing or there are other changes, I would get a doctor to look at the area immediately.

Many of us see a bump after implant and I still do after 6 years.  But if that bump looks unduly swollen, red, inflamed or feels painful, it could be a cause for concern, for an infection, for example.

Has the swelling just appeared, or was it always slightly swollen do you recall?  

We can all see our device bump, outline, swelling immediately after implant, but do you feel there is new fluid or other build up in the area which could point to a new problem, although your comments it is not red, hot or painful are somewhat reassuring.

Some folks use ice packs (wrapped in a towel) and placed over their devices for short periods, to help with any swelling as healing progresses.

Re: Swelling

by H van Dyk - 2024-03-03 05:59:36

I guess in most cases there is always some sort of swelling after a pacemaker has been installed. If you feel that the swelling has increased, but there is no pain or other discomfort, you might want to check first with your family doctor. This could be the case of a simple (delayed) reaction of your body to that 'foreign' unit... 

Normal Wound healing

by Selwyn - 2024-03-03 08:24:35

A normal surgical wound is always accompanied by reactive swelling, especially where the skin is thin or dependent. 

There is sometimes some bleeding around the wound - this produces a lump and maybe some bruising. Such lumps ( haematomas) resolve quite slowly (as I still have one coming up to my third week, though it is getting less, as is the bruising). 

There should, as you note, be no redness, increased tenderness, or hotness. This may mean infection.  Anything that continues to worsen over time is a problem!

You would expect the swelling to settle in 2-3 weeks as the sutures ( stitches) begin to absorb. Somethimes this takes longer. Do no put any creams etc. on the wound. Keep it dry for at least the first week or two.

Puffiness could be an antibiotic envelope

by IrishToast - 2024-03-08 15:43:06

I read in my post-op notes and fee itemizations that they used a Tryx absorbable antiobotic envelope. https://www.medtronic.com/us-en/healthcare-professionals/products/cardiac-rhythm/absorbable-antibacterial-envelopes/tyrx-envelope.html  The puffiness even showed through my clothes, but diminished remarkably as it absorbed. I posted pictures in the Gallery when steristrips were gone, and now at 8 weeks. 

I also notice that the device is lower behind the scar.  A couple of days ago I had something remaining in the right (upper/inside) corner of the scar that was catching on clothing and my little night cushion. I carefully pulled it out with tweezers, being sure it wasn't attached to anything underneath. It was larger than a sesame seed and had a pointed end. Looking closely with a loupe, it was suture thread that had hardened instead of absorbing. The little divot remaining closed up in a day.

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