pacemaker syndrome

hi everyone,

can you please tell me what tests can be done to investigate possible pacemaker syndrome?

would an echo show anything?

my atrial pacing has gone up another 8%!!! the dr.'s don't act concerned. i have had this fullfeeling in facve and neck for alomost 2 years with an increase in pacing (mostly atrial but ventricular too) everytime i get an interrogation. i have a burning constant chest pain too. i swear it is my device! how do i get my doctor to listen to me?

this is making me very, very cranky!

luckyloo


3 Comments

Pacemaekr Syndrome

by TomTurkey - 2007-09-17 09:09:39

This may answer your questions.

What is pacemaker syndrome?
Rarely, pacemakers can make some symptoms better but cause new symptoms. People with pacemakers may no longer have fainting spells, but they feel tired and listless. They notice pounding in the neck or chest, and generally don't feel as good during daily activities as they once did. This is called pacemaker syndrome.

Why does it occur?
The heart's pumping action depends on a number of things. It needs good inflow from the veins, a proper rate of beating, and heart muscle that squeezes well. The heart also needs to squeeze in a proper pattern. Each heartbeat starts with squeezing (contraction) of the upper heart chambers (atria). A short pause is then followed by contraction of the lower heart chambers (ventricles). If the pattern is changed even slightly, the heart doesn't pump efficiently.

Artificial pacemakers may help the ventricles, the atria, or both to contract (squeeze) at the proper time. They are designed to follow the heart's normal rhythm. They can be fine-tuned to maintain the normal pattern of the heartbeat.

However, in some people a pacemaker impulse may travel backward. This may cause the atria to contract at the wrong time. A pacemaker that fires at a constant rate may be just fine for someone at rest but may not work well for exercise. Either of these situations may cause symptoms.

How is it diagnosed?
People with pacemakers help make the diagnosis by telling their doctor about their symptoms. An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) or a 24-hour tape recording of the heart's electrical activity may be needed to identify just what's happening. The doctor may find abnormal pulses in the veins of the neck during a physical exam.

How is it treated?
Pacemakers can be programmed to change their pattern. The doctor may change heart rates, strength of impulse, and the small built-in pauses that are part of heart contraction. Most of the symptoms can be made better by changing these settings. Several tries with different settings may be necessary. On rare occasions, the pacemaker may need to be replaced by one that can pace both the atria and ventricles, or by a pacemaker that can respond to exercise by increasing its beating rate.

With the right pacemaker and the right adjustments almost all pacemaker syndromes disappear.

pacemaker syndrome

by luckyloo - 2007-09-17 10:09:46

thank you tom,

i'm going to call my dr. tomorrow. i swear my chest pain and neck fullness has something to do with my device. i was checked for SVC syndrome and cleared of that but now they just say "don't know" and don't offer any more ideas or testing.

i hope they listen because i cannot stand this anymore.

luckyloo

pacemaker syndrome

by Miles - 2007-09-18 02:09:08

I don't know anything about pacemaker syndrome but you are not losing your mind. I have a (ICD) pacemaker and defib. My first icd was implanted in 2003 and shortly I begin to start having chest pain and pain in my neck. I also experience trouble breathing along with chest pain that have landed me in the ER and hospital over 100 times since 2003. My doctor and the other doctors would not and still fail to believe that my symtoms are real. I feel very sure that there are still problems with these devices that is being covered-up. In Oct 2006 my St. Jude device was replaced because it was a recall, howerver with my new device with a different company i still experience chest pain and neck pain some time so server it causes me trouble breathing and unberable chest pain that only mophen can calm the pain. my doctor is just like yours he seem to turn a death ear concerning my chest pain and icd complaints. You may feel free to call me at (336) 578-8040 my name is Skinner. Hope youfeel better soon!

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