Recovering after Lead Extraction

I got home Thursday after having my surgery on Wednesday. They wanted to remove all the leads in the vessel where the fractured lead was, only they weren't successful. The two hours scheduled procedure took over 5 hours. The fractured lead was easy to remove, but the other two had tissue grown around them and were attached to the thinnest portion of my aorta. They gently tried, but were not successful with extracting them. Then they put in a third lead because my ejection fraction (the % of blood then heart pumps out with each beat) was lower than it should be. This meant I needed a new pacemaker that would accomodate a third lead. Of couse it wasn't the same size as the old pacemaker (only 1 1/2 years old), so my pacemaker pocket had to be modified. We are truly at the mercy of our doctors. But, I'm recovering and that's all that matters. It was the most interesting New Years Eve as I spent it in the hospital bed. But, it's great to start a new year on the way to better health. The third lead should help to give me more energy and help me to better exercise and get in shape.
TexasLinda


3 Comments

Recovering also

by mgweaver - 2008-01-09 03:01:56

I just had my wire replaced on December 18th. Almost 4 weeks ago. They were able to get my wires out completely with the use of a laser. They did try to remove them without it at first but of course it got hung up on scar tissue. I am only 26 years old and my defib is only about 1 1/2 years old. I think getting the wires replaced was far more painful than getting the unit put in intially. I was so sore two days after that I could hardly breathe. Best of luck on your recovery.

5 hours?

by heckboy - 2008-01-27 02:01:19

linda,

So the dr left 2 of the 3 leads in that he/she wanted to remove? Was there just too much scar tissue on the leads? I'm trying to get a mental picture and I see tissue not just at the tip of the leads, but on much of the shaft as well. Was that the situation?

Will they try to remove them at a later date, or is is better to leave them as is?

Thanks. Take care, I hope you don't mind so many questions.

removal methods

by heckboy - 2008-01-27 02:01:39

My Dr does a lot lead extraction and he said there are three devices. One is the laser, one mechanical and I can't remember the third. He said that he would likely use the laser, but I'm not sure if he did. I'll have to ask at my followup appt. on Tues.

My pm replacement and lead extraction recovery seems similar, if not slightly easier than my pm implantation. This must be the luck of the draw as I expected to be feeling worse since so much more was done. No problems with breathing here, but the site does ache.

Besides the difficulty in breathing, how else was this worse than your implantation? Was it the same Dr? I had a different one for the replacement and extraction.

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Member Quotes

I just want to share about the quality of life after my pacemaker, and hopefully increase awareness that lifestyles do not have to be drastically modified just because we are pacemaker recipients.