Getting a replacement....

I was told yesterday that its time to replace my 6 year old Guident dual chamber pacer out. The doc has decided to replace it with a Medtronic. Just curious if any one has a Medtronic and has had any issues with it. I'm not too comfortable with Guident any more because of all the issues they have had over the last couple of years but I don't know anything about Medtronic and what kind of a track record they have.



Replacement PM

by SMITTY - 2007-05-01 03:05:07

Hi Janice,

I'll predict that your question will turn into a mini poll on PM preference. Before I vote, I want to mention that so far as I know all PM manufacturers have had problems and recalls. Since PMs are man-made devices, mistakes will continue so I really don't think we can pick any one brand because we think that brand will never have a problem. With that said, I feel that the more important thing to look for is how the company has responded after a problem with a particular brand of PM was found to have a problem.

Most us that participate in this forum are well aware of the Guidant problems and the apparent attempt by management to do some cover-up to protect corporate profits. However, Guidant now has a new parent company, Boston Scientific. While I expect things to improve drastically for Guidant, personally I do not want a Guidant PM. The Guidant name is tainted and I had rather wait to be sure the Guidant is up to par with the other manufacturers before choosing one.

I can’t comment on St. Jude, except to say that I have seen where a number of our PM Club members have a St. Jude and all seem to be well pleased.

I have a 7-year old Medtronic which has done its job without a bobble. I don’t think much of the EP that implanted the device, but he has moved on to greener pastures so I no longer have to see him. If I live long enough to need a replacement, my replacement will be a Medtronic. I had a checkup on 4-30 and they said I have an estimated four yrs. battery life remaining and all things took in consideration that is a long time for me.

The PM clinic where I got my PM told me at the time I got my implant seven years ago they had implanted more than three thousand PMs. I would not even venture a guess of how many they can claim now. While sitting there waiting for the nurse/technician to go through the checkup routine, I was looking at the equipment and saw this place can do checkups on Guidant, St. Jude and Medtronic units. What caught my eye was that the amount of Medtronic equipment was at least triple that of each of the other two. What does that have to do with anything, nothing I’m sure, but it was just something that caught my eye.

While my vote is for a Medtronic unit, I am a firm believer in choosing the PM with which your doctor is most familiar. PMs have many components similar to the components of computers. While all PMs accomplish the same thing, they probably do it ever so slightly differently and this is where I equate PMs to computers. If I had a Dell computer I would not want to get a person more familiar with HP computers to provide service for my Dell computer, if a Dell person was available.

Now I have to say, for someone that started out to answer you in one short paragraph this has turned into what must seem like endless prattle to you. For that I apologize.

I wish you the best with whatever make you choose.


replacement PM

by CathrynB - 2007-05-01 03:05:18

Hi Janice. As usual, our dear Smitty has provided a comprehensive and well thought-out response to your question, and there's only one thought I'd add. I, too, have a Medtronic and am happy with it, but then it's my first, and I've only had it 3 months. Having said that, I wish I'd gotten a St. Jude instead. Before getting my PM, I was a scuba diver for 23 years. Sadly, after getting my PM, I researched scuba diving questions and learned that if I had a St. Jude, I could still be a scuba diver with no recreational diving depth restrictions. With my Medtronic, I can only dive to 49 feet of depth, according to the person I talked with at Medtronic, as it's only been tested to that level of pressure. So I'd urge you to evaluate the activities you currently engage in, or hope to engage in the future, and confirm whether there are any performance differences in brands. Best of luck, and let us know how the replacement surgery goes. Take care, Cathryn

getting a replacement

by bowlrbob - 2007-05-01 05:05:37

I also have a Medtronic and have been very hapy with it. My Dr. eems to prefer it and has all the equipment necessary to do interragations right in his office. This is great since he get's the results himself first hand without going through a rep. He can also make the adjustments if necessary. So this is fantastic for me. I don't think all EP's work this way but if you find one who does good for you. I agree with the previous post get the one your Dr. is most used to this makes no guesswork for him/her. My vote would be for Medtronic. Bowlrbob

Stay Away From Guidant

by ted - 2007-05-02 12:05:04

I agree with everyone's comments. Whichever you choose, stay away from Guidant. Even though this company was bought by Boston Scientific, the people responsible for the lies, fraud, and deceit in hiding information about defective products which resulted in deaths, might still be working for the company and not fired. Boston Scientific is still fighting the lawsuits against Guidant and not owning up to its responsibilities by paying the people it injured. Guidant should fess up, admit it's guilt, and pay for it's mistakes instead of stalling settlements. I cannot imagine that any doctor would implant a Guidant knowing that this company cared more for profit than it cared for people. Good luck to you Ted

Thank you

by jellis - 2007-05-06 11:05:48

Thank you all for your honesty. I agree with all of you on the Guidant issue. When my doc asked me what I wanted I told him I wasn't comfortable with Guidant anymore that I didn't trust them. He made the statement that he is moving away from Guidant as much as he can. I trust my doc 100% as I have known of him for a long time even though I have only been one of his patients for 5 years. His office is set up to handle various manufacturers as far as I can tell so having to wait for the test results isn't an issue. I have been a fairly seditary person most of my life due to my health but as I get older I have realized that is something that needs to change. With the pacer my limitations aren't nearly as great. One of the reasons I'm glad that my doc has agreed to go ahead and change this thing out now instead of waiting another couple of months until the battery is at the replacement line. Surgery is scheduled for the 18th of this month and I am sure that I will be happy with the Medtronic. Just the peace of mind alone that I no longer have what could possibly be a faulty device in my chest will be a relief. My Guidant is one of the models they recalled but they tell me that the serial number isn't. It still bothers me not knowing, how do they know which serial numbers exactly were defaulty, it just has never set well with me so I will be glad to move on :).

Thank you again for you opinions, I felt that I had made a good decision but guess I just needed a little reassurance.



by lady4law - 2007-05-11 11:05:49

I recently had my 1st PM implanted and it is a Medtronic. As I never had one before, I am not sure if what I've been experiencing is or is not normal.
It appears to "go off" quite often, especially when I am resting on my left side, the side of the implant or on my back. My Dr has adjusted it 3 times since it was implanted, however it's still going off and causing my heart to beat extremely fast. I feel this not only in my chest but it travels to my throat. Sometimes it feels like I am unable to get a good air supply.
I might ad, the reason for the implant was not the normal. My heart had stopped 5 times. Four times, it was determed to have been caused by an alergic reaction to medication. The other time "may" have also been caused by an alergy. SInce my implant, my doctor has changed meds a number of times, but this did not appear to have been the cause.

You know you're wired when...

Your pacemaker interferes with your electronic scale.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.