Lead replacement

I am getting close to needing battery replacement. It looks like this time I will need my leads replaced too as they are 26 years old. I pace 100% and this will be my 4th pacemaker. Can anyone tell me what to expect with lead replacement. I know what to expect with the pacemaker replacement but not with the removal and replacement of the leads. 


4 Comments

how are they doing it?

by Tracey_E - 2019-11-24 21:52:36

Are they adding new leads and capping off the old, moving it to the other side, keeping it on the same side and tunneling through the other side, or extracting and starting fresh? Four different surgeries. It sounds like extracting. If you do a search, there have been a lot of discussions about it. Make sure your team does a lot of them, at least 100/year. It's no longer considered high risk, but you want someone very specialized doing it. 

Lead replacement

by SWinningham - 2019-11-25 00:52:03

Not sure which way they are going to go. I have an appointment tomorrow and the doc had mentioned doing a venogram to see what the options are. 

why the leads?

by dwelch - 2019-11-25 02:35:59

Are the leads showing problems?  I have a 32 year old lead and a 25 year old lead, one of the top lead removal people in the area doing the pacer replacement so they tell me and we never discussed removing leads for their age, (we did for space as I have a broken one and needed a third for a biventrical so four leads on one side).  100% pacing isnt a problem either depends on your condition though I am 100% paced from day one 32 year ago, five devices, every beat, normal and expected.  could be mri capable vs simple age of the leads or could be better placement or better performance (lower resistance).  I know in my case I have room for four leads as I have four leads in there.  But Im a big guy...

I seem to remember asking and the lead removal in my case if needed would be a separate surgery.  

I agree though, ask the them questions.  Why the leads, is 100% bad in my case, and why.  Are these separate surgeries.  Am I spending the night.  How many lead replacements/removals does this surgeon do a year.  Has done total.  Are you the surgeon, can I meet the surgeon.  What brand and why.  Is there a chance I might wake up with all new stuff on the other side? (thats the one thats gotta suck the most, as you may have incisions on both sides so not just one shoulder recovering but both at the same time, not sure how many if anyone on this site has had that fun experience).

You are a pro at this already on device number four, so same kinds of pre-surgery stuff you normal ask plus push the lead questions.

 

 

Lead replacement

by SWinningham - 2019-11-25 10:51:13

One of my leads is starting to not work as good as the other. I'm thinking the doctor is trying to head issues off before they happen. As far as my condition, I was born with complete heart block that wasn't addressed until I was 16 because I was in foster care and slipped through the cracks. I had my first implant when I was 23 after giving birth to my first baby. 
 

I am going in monthly now because My battery life is getting low and the question of replacing the leads has been brought up mainly I think because of the age of them and because I am so reliant on my pacemaker. I don't want to have the pacemaker replaced and then have to have another surgery in a year if my leads crap out on me lol. It's hard to know what to do sometimes but with my job I am leaning a bit toward being more cautious because I am on ladders a lot as well as driving and being out in the sticks a lot. All of which is playing some part in my docs mindset I'm sure. He did mention the possibility of having to go in on the other side. I'm pretty small and my veins are small and wiggly lol. Either way it will be fine but I am self employed and was wondering how long I might be out of commission. Thank you for all the info:)

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