Relocation Surgery Completely Successful

Some of you are familiar with my story. I got my first PM in January and had a smooth, easy recovery initially. Cardiac issues all solved. But I never got to the point of being pain-free, and certain routine activities, as well as sports, continued to hurt even after 6 months: drying my hair, sleeping on my left side, a seatbelt, kayaking, backpack or purse on my left shoulder, etc. I'm very thin-skinned at the PM site below my collarbone and it was a very prominent lump, and so close to my shoulder that many movements caused my shoulder to bump into the PM painfully. Finally in July I had the PM surgically relocated, about 3 inches lower on my chest (behind thicker breast tissue, but still on top of the muscle) and an inch or two toward the center of my chest to keep it away from my shoulder. Four weeks has passed, and now I'm COMPLETELY pain free. I can do any activity without pain, there is no visible lump, my shoulder doesn't run into the PM, and my scar (same as the original incision) is well healed. I guess it was important to wait 6 months to see if things would resolve without another surgery, but I really struggled to make the decision, and I'm SO glad I did it. Let this serve as a reminder to some of you who are living with ongoing pain that it doesn't have to be that way. Fortunately my EP agreed with me about that and made sure I got a solution. And since the electrical leads and heart were not involved in the relocation, I didn't have to put up with those darned restrictions on lifting my arm for 6 weeks and all those "bad hair days". Take care, Cathryn


Good for you!

by boatman50 - 2007-08-10 09:08:12

Thats great news. Those EP's seem to know their stuff. Now get out there on the sound and see if you can keep up with the orcas!

Something I Am Thinking About

by hooimom - 2007-08-10 10:08:22


Thanks so much for sharing your story. I have shared wtih you before that I have thought about the same procedure. My shoulder is painful quite often and I avoid doing certain "normal" activites to try and control the pain level. This will certainly give me something to talk to my EP about at my next appointment.


P.S. Did your insurance cover it?

Glad to hear it worked out,

by bambi - 2007-08-10 11:08:53

and you don't have the pain anymore.I had an x-ray about a month ago and found out my pacemaker has slipped on to its side in the pocket. The Dr. said it's because my pocket has been opened so many times [4]. But it doesn't really bother me that much, so we're going to just leave it alone. I did go to Japan last month, climbed mountains and thought of you! Take care!


by CathrynB - 2007-08-11 11:08:23

Boatman, Michelle and Bambi,
Thanks for your comments. I'll be swimming in Puget Sound before you know it, Boatman, and I'll let you know if I can keep pace with the orcas! Yes, Michelle, my insurance covered 80% of the cost of the relocation surgery -- and it was much less expensive than the original implant because I didn't have to get a new pacemaker or leads, and I was only in the hospital 3 hours, not overnight. Bambi, wasn't the Japan trip to meet your older child's in-laws or something? So glad the trip went well and you were able to climb mountains -- with your one-strap backpack, right? I hope your pacemaker turns back on it's back and stops bothering you! Take care all, Cathryn


by Dodiad71 - 2007-08-11 12:08:44

HI Cathryn,

I am so glad to hear of your success! I wish you many more pain-free years!


all right!!!

by randrews - 2007-08-12 12:08:05

I'm glad this went well for you. You're my role model for staying active post pm implant. It lets me know that it's important to keep at it until it's as good as we can get it.
Did you hike with a one strap backpack? I've been thinking about that.
Take care


by candaceb - 2020-09-07 10:01:34

Hi there I realize this post is 13 years old but it seems very relevant. I had my PM placed 1/6/2020 for bradycardia with sinus pause. I'm 54 and have very thin skin and prominent collar bones and the battery unit is 1/2 inch below the bone so I have restricted arm and shoulder movement and also I get sharp pains in my scar and itching., Its very prominent and I'm a bit worried. However, my GP says I should contact the cardiology consultant but I don't think she would be the expert on device comfort. I'm in the UK, does anyone have any advice at all?

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