PM Replacement

Recent check up to assess PM (Medtronics) battery life, gave it 0.5 months to 21 months.

My question why is the range so great and is the battery life based on voltge drop?

What is the basis for raplacement and at what point do they decisde it should be replaced.

This will be first PM replacemnt, since implanted 10.5 years ago.

Apprecaite any comments.

Bob


2 Comments

replacement

by Tracey_E - 2019-08-16 15:53:39

Could they have said 5, not 0.5? Because if it was .5 that means it's time to do it now. A range is normal because it's not like a gas tank with X miles to go, but for me it's always gone from a 6 month window to a 3 month window, then I went back monthly. There are different times they can do it, some let it go longer than others. When it hits elective replacement, that means it's still fully functional but expected to switch to EOS (end of service) within 3 months. That's when I've always had mine replaced. Some insurance requires it to get to EOS before they'll cover it. When it switches mode, it paces at a steady rate so we'll be safe but if we pace a lot we will feel like crap. 

EOL lasts approximately 3 months, EOS lasts another 3 months, so as long as you are staying on top of it, replacement is never going to be an emergency. You'll have time to pick your date. 

Replacement is a piece of cake. I'm usually home fixing my own lunch. They go in the same place. Most of the pain the first time was from making the pocket, but they can use the pocket again. Most of the restrictions the first time are from the new leads. Leads usually last through several generator changes. This time it's just the incision healing. 

I would call back and ask them to clarify the time range. Ask if it is in elective replacement mode yet. Ask if there is any sign you'll need a lead or just a generator. 

gas tank

by dwelch - 2019-08-16 16:50:14

Thnk about cars/trucks etc.  Even if it is the same brand and model, no two people drive exactly the same way, hard on the gas, easy on the gas, use cruise control a lot or never.  The gas gauge can tell you that you have a half a tank or whatever (note that some if not all car manufactures actually mess with the gauge for ergonmetric reasons, dont assume that is actually how much you have left), but i fyou want to then turn that into prediction of how many more miles or how many more hours of driving before you run out.  And its not strictly gas pedal, how dirty/clean the engine is from use, the fuel lines, kinks, how well the pumps work, etc.  No difference here.   I have one brand pacer and three different brand leads, other folks with my condition even will have a differen consumption, but that still doesnt mean they can predict if my consumpion will be consistent of a long period of time.  Even if they put software in to figure out regular exercise patterns, does that mean I wont quit doing that one day or increase it and their multi-year estimate is now way off.    the batteries, the electronics, the solder, and many other factors affect consumption and capacity of that batter.

 

I agree with Tracey_E it shouldnt say 3 weeks to 21 months, as it gets down to a few months the min max should be much closer.

I have been in EOS as Tracey_E called it on two of my five devices that I know of.  Locks you at 64 bpm so you get out of breath easy, cant climb stairs need to take the elevator, stop and rest a lot.  But three things, you have plenty of time, if not seen from regular checkups or a take home box or whatever this will trigger you to call them and get a checkup, as soon as you get this far along they will get you in for your new device.  No worries you have plenty of time.  My first pacer visits were every 6 months, today that would be scary but thats how it was with my first doc first pacer replacement.  didnt have the take home phone box until later.  I dont have one but now they have the new flavor of take home box, that checks on you very often.  

 

Going forward, my understanding and would not be surprised if insurance insists on no replacement until you are in this latter stage.  I can see where they might be able to count a savings, if every one of us got a device one month early based on elective surgery, times all the devices, even with how long they last there is a measureable number of dollars saved.  Some folks have posted here, and I would not be surprised if the in office visits start to go away as well and rely on the take home box.  Will see abou that.   So your doc may be able to and may choose to replace when the interrogation says min max is both in weeks or a small number of months.  or they may have to wait till it trips over.  My current doc on pacer number four, (first replacement with this doc) I was doing monthly phone checks on their dime.  

The replacement is easy, in and out go home.  you still have the sore shoulder thing for some number of weeks, but as you know now after 10 years that was ages ago and it went away relatively quickly.

Your doc should be choosing your device, it is not your job nor do you want it to be but you can help the doc by telling them what kinds of activities you do or want to do.  Or maybe not all that active and want to go for longer battery life, etc...

I always recommend getting your copy of the printout (I think some folks get thumb drives now) but the one thing you should not focus on nor really care about is that battery estimate.  Brand new pacer 6 years, or 4 or whatever, its wrong, ignore it.  Until it says (min AND max) weeks or a few months, ignore it.

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In fact after the final "tweaks" of my pacemaker programming at the one year check up it is working so well that I forget I have it.