lead extraction

Are lead extractions done under general anesthesia, or can they be done without being put to sleep?


Lead removal

by janetinak - 2008-01-18 01:01:58

I had mine pulled out under local. Wierd sensation but even tho I'm sure that they gave me something for anxiety EP said he wanted me awake. EP is usually not a chatter bug like me but he kept up the talk end & went well.

A few thoughts

by ElectricFrank - 2008-01-18 12:01:52

It would depend on a couple of factors. The most important is how you handle strange sensations. The other is how difficult the extraction process turns out to be. From my reading they first attempt to remove the lead by pulling on it and in many cases it come out easily. In other cases they insert a sheath around the old lead and work it into the heart. They can also use a laser to free the old lead. In the real difficult cases they sometimes need to run a separate catheter up from a vein in your thigh much like in angioplasty to be able to get at where it is stuck.
I had mine implanted under a local and didn't even need anything for anxiety. It was a great advantage as I was wide awake and ready to go when the surgery was over.My agreement with the anesthesiologist was that he would be ready to give me more if I needed it or if there was a serious problem with the surgery. He told my wife afterwards that he was surprised that I didn't ask for something for anxiety.
I suggest talking it over with the doc before even going to the hospital and then again going over your wishes with the anesthesiologist.
If you want to know more drop me a note.


It depends

by bambi - 2008-01-19 10:01:54

I had my leads extracted, and had general anesthesia. I was told the risk of needing to open my chest in an emergency, such as puncturing the heart or rupturing my superior vena cava was high. They had a thoracic surgeon there also to intervene if necessary.

I was out

by heckboy - 2008-01-28 04:01:29

For the reasons jane mentioned, they put me out cold. It's a safety in case there are complications and they have to open you up.

Um.. I mean Bambi!

by heckboy - 2008-01-28 04:01:30

Sorry. "Ahem."

Lead extraction.....

by maryanne - 2009-01-05 11:01:13

Wow I can't imagine being awake....the risks which this procedure are very high....hence the OR's are Always prepared for the possibility of Open Heart surgery....many many lines are inserted....central lines, IV lines and the likes.....

I had this procedure done last month....I was under a general.....the plan was to remove all 3 leads and my PM.....I was having these leads removed via laser and stylet approach....The first lead I am told came out with no problem....it was the older lead of 1991 and 1984 that presented the problems.....they nicked my aorta with the laser...the size of my baby fingernail.....I bled...they had to crack open my chest and perform open heart.....now had I been awake...there would have been more to have to deal with....this is a serious procedure....although becoming more common and success rates are high at 89%.....I unfortunately fell into the 0.4% unsuccessful category. Not only did I have open heart...but they were never able to get the lead of 1984 out.

If you research here under lead extraction there is a great article from a doctor from the Netherlands that writes about lead extraction and what is involved....in my case as I said they used the laser and stylet .....

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