I am 69 years old and in August 2017 I had a Medtronic dual lead pacemaker implanted after
my Reveal Linq device was analysed a few days before. It showed a pause on 25 July at 04:15 hours; the ECG showed a brief episode of Wenckebach, followed by a 16 seconds pause in the context of complete heart block. I was asleep at the time so luckily knew nothing of this. It could have been a very different story had I been driving or simply going about my daily stuff. Prior to this ventricular standstill I had episodes of feeling faint hence the Reveal Device implanted the previous year. I'm so thankful I had this device as otherwise my problem may not have been found and my cardiologist told me the pause was very long and I was very lucky my heart restarted on its own! Otherwise I may have just not woken up that morning. Pretty scary! 
I now have a conundrum to solve. For the past month I've had sciatica I'm having physio but it's not really improving. I know if I take it further and see a consultant he will ask me to have an MRI. I know my pacemaker is MRI compatible and it has to be set in safe mode and I need an EP on hand in case of anything going wrong. But I have a further problem!  I am very claustrophobic I can't  possibly go into a closed machine. Before my pacemaker I had quite a few MRIs for various conditions but always in an open machine. I have done some research and so far can't find any facility with an open matchine that offers cardiac monitoring too?  Surely I can't be the only person who needs this?  Anyone else out there with similar experience would love to hear from you! 



by AgentX86 - 2019-11-16 11:59:04

Been there.  I had an 8-second pause while sleeping and only know of it because I was on a cardiac monitor (nominally for a month) looking for the cause of a near syncope event.  The monitoring company called at 3:00AM telling me "get thee to the ER, now". I already had an appointment with my EP at 9:00 AM so just drove to the hospital and camped out in his office.

About a month ago, while on vacation in Vermont, I had a seizure.  The hospital wouldn't do an MRI so sent me home to have it done.  I'm going around and around with two hospitals here to make everyone happy before they'll do it. 

I'm not all that claustrophobic, though, (I had a few MRIs before my PM) and can see how that's an additional complication.  However, I can't imagine that a large hospital wouldn't have an open-MRI and a cardiac department with a PM clinic.  They just need to borrow a PM tech to do the programming. I wouldn't go by what's advertised.  I'd have your neurologist and EP work together to find a solution for you.  Can they sedate you before the MRI? 


by doublehorn48 - 2019-11-16 13:18:00

I'm claustrophobic.  PM not compatible. Had to have MRI.  They put me in the tube up to my neck.  Lots of noice.  The thing that helped is I was told I could end the session if I gave the    word.   Then it was just one minute at a time.   Hope this helps.  My problem was prostate cancer so I think they will put you in no further  than me.  I got through it and women are way tougher than men.  

Good luck

m. scott


by Foxy49 - 2019-11-17 12:11:01

Thanks so much for both your comments, I will definitely pursue this further.  Interesting to note that an MRI  was done with your head outside, I never knew that could happen and it would make a huge difference to me if I could do the same!


I will report back eventually!

Head outside

by AgentX86 - 2019-11-17 21:03:51

I don't think my upcoming MRI can be done with my head outside the machine.  The MRI is to image the brain.  ;-)

I think the only thing I have left to coordinate is getting my PM settings transferred from my EP's hospital to my neurologist's hospital. It's amazing how complicated they've made this.

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