Does It Ever Occur That One No Longer Needs a PM?

This is a question I'm having difficulty finding an answer to.

Does it ever happen that, after, say, a few years, whatever the problem was that necessitated the PM in the first place [in my case, heart block] simply repairs itself somehow and disappears? And that the PM is, as a consequence, removed?

After my last PM clinic visit, I was told that my PM was only kicking in 20% of the time. I think that this is a lot less than it was kicking in during the early years.

Is this common? Has it happened to anyone here?


5 Comments

Not common

by Lotti - 2008-02-24 04:02:42

Hi.

I know of one person second hand that had their PM removed after their heart recovered, (the leads were left in). However they needed the PM after heart surgery which can be quite normal for the heart to take time to recover fully.
I do not know about anyone who needed it for other reasons.
Lets hope yours continues on this happy trend and soon you will be posting that you do not need yours anymore.

Need For PM

by SMITTY - 2008-02-24 05:02:21

Since the NASCAR race I came in here to watch is delayed because of rain, I’ll comment on your questions for what it may be worth.

I have always been of the opinion that the most consistent thing about our heart needing the help of a pacemaker is the inconstancy of that need. So, I think that for some people things will change in the heart that eliminates the need for a PM. Notice, I didn’t say the problem cures itself, because I feel that if it happened once time it can certainly happen again.

In my case, I go through episodes of arrhythmia that puts my PM to a real test. Then just as mysteriously and quickly as it started the arrhythmia is gone and my PM goes a back to doing what it does best, keeping my heart rate stable.

I have had many problems with my PM and the EP that implanted the thing, out of desperation to get me to shut up I think, offered to remove it. I declined that offer but I did get it turned down to a low setting of 30, which was well below my normal heart rate. My thought was I’ve got the thing and the implanting, while not bad when compared to most surgeries, was not all fun and I could see no reason to have it removed. It turned out that I needed to have it restarted a couple of years later.

Right now, mine is helping out about 90% of the time with a low-set point of 70. However, if that setting is lowered to 60, frequency of operation will drop to <50%, I think. I plan to ask for it to be lowered to 60 during my next checkup in March and will find out if I’m correct.

It is entirely possible that yours is helping out much less than in the early years because from what I’ve seen and read from others the initial settings are frequently higher at the beginning, as mine was. Why, I don’t know unless it is because they use as many of the factory settings as possible since it is, in many cases, a guessing game anyway.

Now, I’ll sit back and see what others have to say.

Smitty

My Heart Block Went Away

by Vicki - 2008-02-24 06:02:03

I got my PM in July of last year for complete heart block which came on suddenly. They don't know why. Came on me out of the blue..never had any problems with low heart rate in the past. Just the opposite actually. I take a beta blocker for SVT and at first they thought the heart block may have been from that. So, admitted to hospital for three days, taken off the BB but no change. 4th day they said I needed a PM. I have never passed out or fainted in my life. So, one week after implantation I went to the EP who put it in for check up. Findings were I no longer had heart block. Pacer used less than 1%. Three months later same thing, three months after that same thing. I go again in May for another PM check. Hopefully nothing has changed.

Vicki

When to give it up

by ElectricFrank - 2008-02-24 11:02:56

Keep in mind that even 1% of the time needing PM for AV block still indicates a need for it. All it takes is for the block to occur for a minute or so to pass out while driving or some other risky activity. Now if you can go for several months with zero pacer intervention, it might be reasonable to remove it. My feeling is to wait until it needs replacement to make a decision. If it is programmed properly it shouldn't be any problem having it ride around with you. It doesn't weigh that much (:.

frank

When my

by Megg - 2008-03-31 12:03:11

pacemaker was "installed" in Decenber 2007 it was being used 50% of the time but they have fine tuned it 3 times now and it's use has now been reduced to 37%. I think as they customize it for you they are able to streamline its functions.

You know you're wired when...

You run like the bionic man.

Member Quotes

A pacemaker completely solved my problem. In fact, it was implanted just 7 weeks ago and I ran a race today, placed first in my age group.