Girls Only

Time for a mammogram. I've used the search engine to check out past messages re:others' experiences, but it seems that many of the responses can't be pulled up. So, once again, how did you all manage the mammogram issue? I've read some of the horror stories of fractured leads and all...kinda scary! My PM sits under the muscle and doesn't seem too far away from the top of the breast tissue. Unfortunately I'll have to have additional views on the left side d/t an increase in tissue density...so I'm especially wary of the angles that those plates will be coming at me! Thanks and I await your wise counsel, Carol


9 Comments

Musketeer

by Musketeer - 2008-07-15 02:07:32

DON'T WORRY! I DID, I SHOULDN'T

You won't be their first and they know what to do. I have had PM for 7 yrs. and during that time because of problems I have probably had about a dozen mammograms. No problem.

2 mammograms

by Pookie - 2008-07-15 02:07:56

I've had 2 mammograms since my pacemaker and I just told the tech prior and it was no problem at all.

Pookie

Great question!

by Swedeheart - 2008-07-15 03:07:38

I am due for a mammo and I am not worried about the imaging... but the squishing and pulling on the area where the wires are... that is a different story! I think Sharon's suggestion of asking the EP if there is a group they prefer is a good one!

If you are concerned about the actual imaging and the amount of shielding your PM has, you might contact the manufacturer and ask about that with your specific make/model. Mine is a Medtronic dual lead enrhythm and the mfg. has told me it is shielded very well and there will not be an issue.

Good luck. Looking forward to reading other posts from gals here!
Swedeheart

my first mammogram 2 weeks ago

by CathrynB - 2008-07-15 04:07:12

Hi Carol,
My PM is implanted on top of my muscle, but lower down than the "typical" location, and behind my breast. I just had my first mammogram 2 weeks ago and was nervous about it -- not so much because I thought they could hurt the titanium PM, but worried whether they could actually get good images and whether they could harm the electrical leads. Like others suggested, I told the technician about the PM, made her feel it to see exactly where it is, and discussed the electrical leads. She used slightly less compression as a result and the first image was not adequate, so had to re-do it. In the end it was fine. No damage, no more discomfort than with the other breast, and good image results. I won't worry next time. I would think your PM and leads would be very well protected behind your muscle and you don't need to worry about it.
Take care, CathrynB

no problems

by Tracey_E - 2008-07-15 08:07:29

I haven't had any problem whatsoever with mammo's! My implant is submammary and I have wires and scar tissue all over my left side. I didn't think to say anything thing when I made the appointment, I just tell the tech when I get there that I have it. The first time, she very gently did a first image just to get an idea where my implant and all my wires are, then she went back and did a second, more thorough image. If you go to the same place each time, they'll have your baseline and know all about you next time you go. The place I go is all digital and they have your full history at your fingertips.

If your pacer is new enough that you haven't had a mammo since you got it, it's shielded. ;)

Warn the tech!

by auntiesamm - 2008-07-15 12:07:31

When you call for your appt. explain your pacemaker and if there is any hesitation at all from the receptionist ask for the manager. It is critical they understand pacemakers and wires before you get there. They can very gently do the mammo if they have an understanding of where the wires are located. That is the critical piece. I've had 2 since getting my PM in May 2006 without problems. You might check with your cardiologist/EP to see if there is an imaging group they prefer for post-PM patients. They should have a track record of patients who have had mammos. Good luck.

Sharon (So Calif)

No Problem

by hooimom - 2008-07-16 09:07:14

Like everyone else said, just talk to the tech before she begins and let her know where your PM is. The tech was very careful and asked me the entire time if I was comfortable and reminded me to tell her if it became uncomfortable. Just speak up. My mammograms have been no more uncomfortable with the PM than they were before. I was a little tender around my PM site the next day but there was not damage to the PM or the leads.

Michelle

a different question for you....

by Loopy Lou - 2008-08-04 02:08:50

Hello!

Sorry that I cannot help with your question - but something you wrote caught my attention....

I had my first p.m. on 24th July and it sits on my right side just below my collar bone after a failed attempt on my left side. One doctor suggested putting it under my muscle as I am 43 and it would be for cosmetic reasons!! However, the doctor who put it in said he wanted it above the muscle as it needs to be replaced in 7 - 9 years and is in an easier place for removal.....

Can you please add your comments regarding your experience with it under the muscle.

Thanks so much!

Take care and hope you had a good reply to your question.

Louise xx

mammogram

by Mary Thompson - 2008-08-05 05:08:53

I had a fractured wire so now I request an ultrasound check of the breast where the pm sits. This worked fine and I am willing to take the risk rather than have another wire replacement. Talk to your MD and do what you feel is best. Good questions. I had trouble getting anyone to discuss this with me.

Mary

You know you're wired when...

The mortgage on your device is more than your house.

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