after beat?

I sometimes feel a "beat" in my lower ribcage-maybe in the area of my intestines. Has anyone else experienced this and if so, do you know what causes it? I am thinking that it is a referred sensation from my pacemaker, but I also wonder if it is related to physical exercise. My M.D. didn't have an answer.


Wow... two hearts?

by dward - 2008-02-21 06:02:20

Sorry, had to use that header...

I had a similar sensation. Turned out to be
a muscle spasm likely caused (they say)
by one of my leads stimulating a nerve.

This was in the first 10 months or so after my PM was installed. It only happened now and then - with no real explaination.

It still happens, but is getting less and less. In fact, I don't remember the last tme it happened.

Abdominal " beat "

by Stepford_Wife - 2008-02-21 08:02:56

Hi bonniefox.

Well, this abdominal beat you are experiencing, could very well be the abdominal aorta. It is quite common, especially if you are thin, to feel or even see your heartbeat in your stomach.
It's the major artery in the body that travels through the abdomen, and returns blood to the heart.
Here is a description of what the abdominal aorta is all about.
Happy reading!

~ Dominique ~

Abdominal Aorta

The abdominal aorta is a region of the descending aorta, originating superiorly as a continuation of the thoracic aorta as it passes through an opening in the diaphragm, and terminating inferiorly as the abdominal aorta bifurcates (divides into two structures) into the left and right common iliac arteries.

The abdominal aorta is a large-lumened, unpaired arterial vessel that is part of the main trunk of the systemic arterial system. As such, the abdominal aorta supplies oxygenated blood, pumped by the left ventricle of the heart, to the abdominal and pelvic organs and structures via visceral (soft interior organs in the cavities of the body, including the brain, lungs, heart, stomach, intestines, etc. ) and parietal arterial branches.

The abdominal aorta and its major arterial branches are highly elastic. During systole (heart muscle contraction), the aortic and arterial walls expand to accommodate the increased blood flow. Correspondingly, the vessels contract during diastole and elastin fibers assure that this contraction also serves to drive blood through the arterial vessels.

As the thoracic aorta passes through the aortic hiatus (an opening in the diaphragm) it becomes the abdominal aorta. The abdominal aorta ultimately branches into left and right common iliac arteries. The common iliac arteries then branch into internal and external iliac arteries to supply oxygenated blood to the organs and tissues of the lower abdomen, pelvis, and legs.

Major branches of the abdominal aorta include, ventrally, the celiac branches, and superior and inferior mesenteric arteries. On the dorsal side of the aorta are the lumbar and median sacral branch arteries. Lateral to the aorta are the inferior phrenics, middle supernal, renal, and ovarian or testicular arteries. Because the branches from the abdominal aorta are large, the aorta rapidly decreases in size as it courses downward (inferiorly) through the abdomen.

The celiac trunk divides into three major branches: the left gastric artery to the stomach, the hepatic artery to the lobes of the liver, and splenic artery--surrounded by a plexus of nerves--that ultimately terminates in branches entering the hilus of the spleen.

The superior mesenteric artery supplies oxygenated blood to the small intestine below the duodenum and portions of the cecum and colon. There is often a remnant of the umbilical artery, in the form of a fibrous strand that runs between the navel (umbilicus) and the superior mesenteric artery. Branches of the superior mesenteric artery include the inferior pancreaticoduodenal artery, jejunal and ileal branches, illeocolic artery and the right and middle colic arteries.

The inferior mesenteric arteries supply the transverse colon, descending colon, and rectum. Branches of the inferior mesenteric include the left colic artery, the sigmoid arteries (inferior left colic artery and the superior rectal artery).

Middle suprarenal arteries branch from the abdominal aorta to supply the suprarenal glands. Renal arteries branch form the abdominal aorta to supply the kidneys. Phrenic branches of the abdominal aorta supply oxygenated blood to the diaphragm.

Diaphram stimulation?

by bionic_laura - 2008-02-21 10:02:18

Hi there

The last pacemaker I had did this. I felt a beat in the end of my ribcage when they checked the pacemaker in a certain mode. I didn't have this mode turned on so that's why I didn't have it all the time.
It's where the electricity from the pacemaker lead stimulates a nerve nearby which causes a spasm in the diaphram. The cardiac technician turned down the amount of electricity going to the lead which stopped it happening. Maybe it's this or as Dominique says it could be abdominal aorta.
Best to quiz your doctor again about it if it's annoying you, they should know or at least be able to find out for you.

Bionic Laura

Lead mode

by ElectricFrank - 2008-02-22 12:02:45

If your pacer should be set to bipolar pacing. If not it can cause muscle twitching. All modern pacers are designed to operate in bipolar and the only reason for not using it is if it was programmed wrong or if one of your leads has a problem. Then it reverts to monopolar as a fail safe mode.
You may have bring this up deliberately with the cardiologist. If it is a bad lead they are often reluctant to tell you and instead just let the monopolar pacing take care of it. They don't have to put up with the twitching.


An explanation!

by dw5281 - 2008-02-27 04:02:45

Thank you so much for asking that question bonnie fox! Ive only had my pm for 2weeks but keep experiencing a beating sort of clicking (i dont know how to explain it!) in the lower part of my rib cage. I told people about it but they kept saying i was imagining things - i knew i wasnt insane!!

Pacing sensation confirmed

by bljulianosu - 2008-03-02 02:03:54


You are not alone!!!! I have this same sensation whenever my right ventricle is paced, sort of like a tick on the left side under my ribcage. I too asked the doctors and they look at me like I'm stupid or something. It is quite frustrating. You and I are certianly not insane!

As far as the sensation in the intestine, I too have this and the abdominal aorta is probably the issue, although I don't find it very distracting at all, not compared to a right ventricle pace.

Imaginary Spasms!

by BJay - 2011-07-19 10:07:29

Hi there
Its been nine months since I got my pacemaker but this past month I have bee experiencing what all of you are saying. I feel like when I was pregnant & having a baby kicking me! from the inside of course! I went to have it checked at my pacing clinic and the cardiac technician (CT) explained that its could be where the electricity from the pacemaker lead stimulates a nerve nearby which causes a spasm in the diaphram. The CT turned down the amount of electricity going to the lead which stopped it happening but by the time I got home it had started again. Went back a few days later and they tried again but the same has happened it has not stopped and I feel worse for wear as can't do much exercise without feeling like I've ran a marathon! The last time I went the CT made me feel like am imaginig things as he couldn't feel the spasms therefore I dread going back...should I ask to speak to a cardologist instead?


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