5 days post op chest pain

Hey all, thanks for being here!

I had a medtronic dual pacemaker placed 5 days ago.  Since then I have diffuse chest pain on any exertion, more on the right than the left.  I don’t feel any better as far as shortness of breath or fatigue than I did before.  Now add the chest pain and it is worse!  I have an annoying cough, my left boob is now bigger than the right and I am “burpy”. All new stuff 😕  I am set to 60 with adjustments for activity.  I can feel the raise in hr when doing something.  Maybe it is just an adjustment phase to go through but I am a stubborn 56 year old Irish girl with things to do!  

Taking otc meds for pain and helps a bit but not the activity chest pain.  I have burning in my left shoulder also so laying down is my most comfortable position.  Can’t do that forever! 

Also still having the occasional pvc   My blood pressure ( I have resistant hypertension on 4 meds) is all over the place.  100’s to 160’s 

anyone with a similar story that has any advice? 

I don’t want to regret this decision.  Pacemaker was for bradycardia and Chronotropic incompetence.

thank you for any responses 🙂  


Don't let it get you down.

by Gotrhythm - 2019-12-10 15:08:07

Call your doctor about the burning in the left shoulder! It might be nothing but any signs of infection should be taken very seriously. 

As for the rest, I'm sorry you're having a hard time, but 5 days is way too early to judge the success or failure of the pacemaker. Some people feel better immediately, but for some it takes months.

I suspect a lot depends on your overall health at the time, and whether the out-of-the box settings are a good fit. It can take several adjustments, over several months, to made the settings optimal for you.

About PVC, Read my reply to the post just below yours. Palpitations happen. Getting upset about them is counter-productive.

For now, take it easy but do not use a sling. Avoid heavy lifting and reaching for objests high over head but don't try to not use the arm. Do not confine the arm overnight. Gentle, slow movement of your arm will prevent frozen shoulder.

Remember, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. It's a law of physics and a law of health. The longer you lie there the stiffer your arm and chest will be and the harder any exertion will become.

Though you might feel most comfortable lying down, get up and get moving. If you can't do a long walk, do several short ones. Most people find a pacemaker makes no difference at all in blood pressure, but research shows that exercise does!

With chronotropic incompetence you may have become a bit of a couch potato. I know I did. I thought those people who said they felt great after exercise were a bunch of masochistic liars. It might take a while but you have a real chance now to get into good shape and feel better than you have felt in years.

Stay positive. Adjusting to a pacemaker, and having it improve your life, is more mental then physical.


It's only been five days

by AgentX86 - 2019-12-10 15:14:11

Remember, you've been cut open an a foreign object placed in your chest. With the object plus some swelling,  it's not surprising that your left "boob" is larger than your right.

Chest pain always worrisome, though a diffuse pain shouldn't be anything serious.  Do call your EP's office though. I'd guess (I'm not a doctor, that you're having muscle pain.

Chronotopic incompetence will require some period of adjustments to the pacemaker. It's not a once and done matter. It's mightily dependent on how active you are, too.

PVCs and BP measurements all over the place aren't surprising. Your heart has been assaulted an now it's being force marched where it doesn't want to go. It'll get used to being paced.

Thank you

by SoulShine - 2019-12-11 19:41:22

Gotrhythm....I had to laugh when you wrote masochistic liars!  I thought I was the only one in the world who feels like death after exercising.  Would smh when people would tell how envigorated and amazing they would feel as I sat on the couch with a red face, pounding heart, sweating profusely and in need of a nap.    Glad to hear I am not the only one!  Thank you both for your responses.  

I had an appointment today for a check.  Little did I know it was going to be with a nurse practitioner who ripped my dressing off, put the machine on the pacemaker to check its status and refuse to answer any of my questions with empathy.  All she said.. not the pacemaker... pain not the pacemaker, heart rate going up too high in the bumpy car not something she saw or would see fit to change.  No comment about the chest pain, sweating,  cough etc.  was not able to ask any questions really without an attitude or being dismissed.  As a nurse I was trained to take ALL complaints of chest pain seriously.  I guess she was in some other class.  I was able to get an appointment with my regular cardiologist (not the pacemaker surgeon). So I guess we will see what happens!!     

She said pacing was almost always between 60 and 70 with no seen increases with activity.  I suppose I just don’t understand how this is supposed to work.  Only time will tell!  


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