Cracked lead wire

Hi All,

First time I'm writing.

I went for a regular pacemaker (Medtronic, ~ six years old) check and was told that there was a break in the lead to the ventrical.
Anybody have a problem was broken leads? Thanks.


2003 cracked lead

by martin1 - 2008-11-10 02:11:56

I am 44 now and had a cracked lead 5 years past. When I had the cracked lead, my MD replaced a new pacemaker and did not remove the cracked lead, since then I've been on coumadin, and added lipitor 02 years after. So far no major incident. BTW, my first pacemaker when I was 35.

God bless us all.


More Me, too

by nmcovert - 2008-11-10 12:11:02

I'm a 65-year-old bypass (five stents ) patient. The fractured ventricular lead in my Guidant pacemaker was discovered in Nov 07. The tech convinced the Dr I could live with it because it was "just losing some impedence." My BP was consistently in range of 140/90, meds didn't bring it down. I had no energy, had regular jolts like touching a bare wire on my Lionel train set, consistent angina-like pain. Some techs said there was no break, others said a "minor" break in the silicone and all agreed battery was losing power faster than it should (my device works 65 percent of time). Finally when I went into v-fib during nuclear stress test they decided to replace the lead. After more dealing with know-it-all techs, the Washington (D.C.) Hospital EP staff determine both a break in lead and it had lost its "grip" in ventrical. Finally it was replaced, BP dropped while in OR to 115/70 and has been there ever since. My battery is down to 2.5 years (installed Jan 05). Although more invasive, it would seem the surgery just a bit more than battery replacement, same incision, etc. Be your own advocate!! Your quality of life depends on a functioning unit. Added tale: in Oct. another new tech decided to lower the voltage from 5 to 2. My heart didn't function well at that, because I demanded it the GUidant tech reset it to 5 volts four days ago, I've come back to life. Again -- Be Your own Advocate, don't believe everything they say.

me, too!

by Tracey_E - 2008-11-10 12:11:17

I've had an impeded lead for about five years now. It still works just fine but it drains the battery faster. It's not actually broken or cracked, there is a rupture in the insulation around the lead so the voltage has to be up higher to get the impulse through. Picture the refrigerator door open- it still cools but the power bill is higher.

They let it up to me to keep it or replace it. I figured two battery changes would be easier than one lead change so I chose to wait. I've had this battery for 3 years now and have another 1-2 years left in it, so it's not that much shorter than it would be without the bad lead. I know that if it ruptures further I won't be able to wait for the next battery replacement to replace the leads, but it's a chance I'm willing to take because it's very stable. My tech has two other patients with the same situation and both have remained stable much longer than me, one of them 10 yrs. Still haven't decided if I'll do the leads next time! I have a year or two to think about it :o)

fractured lead

by ladydi - 2008-11-11 11:11:19

My son, at the age of 11, had a fractured lead on a recalled Medtronic lead after only having his dual chamber device for 16 months. The doctors immediately shut the device off and would not let him leave the hospital. Their fear was that if he left the hospital and went into ventricular fibrillation, he would be unprotected. If they left the device on, he may receive an inappropriate shock. When they did the surgery, the doctors replaced both leads and the device so he has all new equipment now and so far is so good.

2 cracked leads

by PoeticPacer - 2011-03-11 12:03:34

I'm on my third pacemaker since 2001, both the reasons for replacement were cracked leads... but I'm st. jude so it could be different. as far as I know the leads hadn't been recalled... the cardiologist told me I was wearing them out, because i'm so active. I went to a different surgeon for the last one, and he implanted the device and leads in a different way to avoid my collar bone and hopefully cut down on the wear and tear. he told me ultimately it would be up to me when I'd have surgery again, based on how active and what types of activities I decide to engage in... I got my first pacer when I was 11 years old. the second when I was 13 and the third when I was 16... so far I haven't had any problems with this new one though, and this is the third year for this device.

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