I just got my Medtronic pm this month and I'm wondeing how long do these things last?
It's going to vary depending on how much you use it, what features you use, safety margins, condition of the leads, how much juice it takes to get your heart to beat. Most of the newer ones last 10-15 years. When you have a check, they can give you an estimate. That estimate is a guess, and it's based on the settings at the time they do the interrogation, but it will still give you an idea. I'm on my 5th, longest battery life so far has been 7 years. I've had this one for 3 years and it's showing 9+ years left.
Replacements are super easy, nothing at all like the first placement. Also, technology improves all the time so when we get a new one, we get the latest and greatest. Replacements aren't anything to dread.
In my case, the Medtronic 3 - lead PM was implanted in May 2012. Different EP decided in Jan 2015 to replace the PM with a PM/ICD unit. The third lead is not in the most optimum position requiring more power than what would be normal, so by mid 2018, it was time for another PM/ICD which was implanted in Nov. 2018.
It depends on how much you use it.
The estimate you get at the office is a bad one dont get happy nor sad over it. Until it is in units of weeks or maybe months, ignore it.
It is not just about use, they dont all have the same size battery for every condition, folks like me that have a biventrical, three lead and the lower chambers are close to 100% (by design) need a much bigger battery to get to 10 years than someone with a single lead and rarely uses the device. Now if two of us have the same condition, same model of device, then sure it comes down to usage. I dont have one of the home boxes so hopefully my will last longer <grin>...
Assume ten years but there is no hard and fast rule. I am on my fifth device, number four we cut short to put in the biventrical three lead, this one is much bigger than the last one. but none are as big as my first ones. those were supposed to go 10 as all of them are but went about 7. I think number 3 had a good long run. number 4 was supposed to exceed 10 but had to pull it out early. So we will see.
Bottom line it is what it is.
Here is how it goes, there are different phases to a pacemaker. The intial implant the month give or take of my shoulder hurts I cant do this, I think about it a lot. There is a few week visit then a few month visit, and if this is pacer number one there is that first so many months to a year to get used to your new, better, life.
Then you go into the annual visits, the cruising period. Like your big toe and belly button you generally forget the thing is there, unless you stub it on a table leg.
They will use the battery indicator and their experience and may start asking you to come in more often, that doesnt mean its going to happen that year I have more than once had the increased visits or more phone box calls which you shouldnt need that old tech, these can go on for a few years. The home stretch. today we are in the era with these take home boxes, and in theory thouse should change how those last few years work, depends on your doc, practice and insurance.
But then that interrogation battery life does start to say months. Unlike the past I am told that insurance is saying we want the device to go into safety mode, no early replacements. Depends on your doc and insurance. So while I might have gotten well half of mine out before that time, two did go to safety mode, plan for that being the signal. you should feel this, it should lock your rate at something like 65bpm. Climbing stairs you feel like you are on everest with no air.
THEN you get a new device, a couple few hours at the hospital, and back home, my arm hurts, cant wash my hair, the whole cycle starts again, except after the first one that first year isnt strange and they shouldnt need to do many if any adjustments. Each new one gets easier.
You are a LONG WAY from having to worry about this. Get through the next couple of visits the few week and the few month and get into the annual checkup rythm, solve the what do I plug my home box into I dont have a landline and all that. Then settle in for the long haul. You will forget its there.
You know you're wired when...
Your life has spark.
My ICD/pacer is not a burden. I still play tennis and golf.