April 10/08 sense brothers surgery

My brother had an implant of the pacemaker and defibrillator. He was told that he would notice an increase in energy that he has not felt sense the decline in his health over a year ago. Instead he has been in and out of the hospital after his implants on April 10th with far less energy then what he had before the surgery and unable to catch his breath. Just walking from his bedroom to the bathroom takes away all his energy reserves and we are talking a matter of only a 8 ft. walk. The breathing I can not explain fully how EXTREMLY difficult it is to breath. breathing. Yesterday was the first time (which I find odd in of itself ) that the cardiologist caught that his heart rate was over 120 when it should be in the range of 60-80 beats and that his blood pressure was now extremely low. His defibrillator nor his pacemaker has ever went off and from reading articles this should have done so. The pacemaker and etc. have been tested and they say it is fine. The physician now is saying he has arterial flutters and this is causing his breathing problem.
Has anyone else experienced these issues and if so how did you handle them and how was the issues resolved?



by Vai - 2008-05-07 02:05:03

Its been a month since his implant. He should have had his first check-up about this time and some adjustments to the device setting is probably needed.

Some thoughts to consider:
1. If rate response is turned on, ask the cardiologist about turning it off. As he is already so lethargic the rate response is not needed anyway and eliminating one more variable will help.
2. I think you mean atrial flutters (don't know what is arterial flutters). Breathlessness and breathing difficulties is a classical symptom of atrial flutters or fibrillation. He will need to be on medication to slow down these arrythmia problems. Usually some betablockers is prescribed to slow down the fast heart rate. Please note these betablockers also have some side effects as well (tiredness, fatigue, no energy etc).
3. The betablockers also have blood pressure lowering properties so this might aggravate his low bp problems. The cardio should be his best help and be better placed to judge on balancing control of the arrythmias and the effect on the bp.
Hope this help.

Rate response off

by Vai - 2008-05-07 02:05:19

Hi Chrissue

Thank you for the comment. Please re-read my entire statement in the context of WIngkiwink's description of his brother's condition His brother's heart is already going too fast (fluttering) even with little or no activity - that leads me to think that he does not need the rate response turned on anyway (assuming he had it turned on at the moment).

Rate Response

by Wingart - 2008-05-07 02:05:41

Hi Winkywink & Vai

Vai, you say "turn the rate response off, it's not needed anyway". WinkyWink I would check that first, my heart does not speed up on its own and therefore I am dependant on the rate resposne, without it I would be stuck at 60, just getting out of bed and having a shower causes my rate to increase.

Yes the rate response does cause problems for some if their heart doesn't need it but a blanket "it's not needed anyway" is a generalisation that does not apply to everyone. If it was not needed then they would not bother to incorporate the function into the device.

I wish you a speedy resolution to your bothers' problems


Heart Problems

by SMITTY - 2008-05-07 04:05:13

Hello Winky,

You say your bother has been back to the hospital one or more times and that they tell him the pacemaker/defibrillator is fine. I'm sure they checked and double checked that device to arrive at that conclusion, but unfortunately not all heart problems can be cured with these devices. Especially those problems from irregular heart rhythm.

During the last 14 months I have gained lots of experience with shortness of breath from an irregular heart rhythm. My doctors have tried different PM settings and three or four different medications and I'm still looking for a solution. I start with a new doctor next Monday and hope.

As for you brother, unless he sees improvement within a few days I strongly suggest that he get a second opinion.

I wish him the best,



by Boog - 2008-05-17 10:05:56


we are having problems like your brother. we have been in and out of the hospital for 16 months. we have a pacemaker / difibrillator. we was told that the pacemaker/difibrillator is not strong enough or big enough and that we needed a new one also we are told that the third lead is not working. he has CHF and really has trouble breathing. we are in the hospital once again and we are on our 2 doctor. we are from east texas and grasping for any information. feb and march we were in hospital for 4 weeks daddy went into doctors office for check-up and doctors wanted to check is old stints to make sure they were ok. daddy had to have 2 bags of fluids put in before the dye was run and 2 more bags put in afterwards. we gain 12 pounds from about 8:00 A.M. til 5:00 P.M. that day . Now this man walked into his office taking and walking and had to be put into a wheel chair and carry over to the hospital where we stayed for 4 weeks PLEASE we need information . God Bless! shelley

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