Dilated veins

Good night i had my device implanted two months ago and now i noticed the veins on my left shoulder and chest are getting dilated. I wonder if that is a common and normal ocurrence or not. 
Thank you so much



Not normal - go back to your Docs ASAP

by crustyg - 2020-04-27 03:33:02

Hi: I'm afraid that this strongly suggests that you have a blockage in the vein where your leads penetrate, which is not good.

In your shoes I would be calling my EP team ASAP, and explaining exactly what you see - try to take a selfie as well so that you can send it in.

Good luck and best wishes.

Dilated veins around PM site

by Gemita - 2020-04-27 05:25:31

Hello VMazer,

I have seen several posts here recently and over the years about noticeable veins developing around the Pacemaker implant site following surgery.  This is perhaps becoming more common today due to increased procedures and damage from catheters and leads.  I agree with Crustyg's remarks and taking a photo of the area and sending to your pacemaker team for their advice is a good idea. This is what I have done.

I believe we may have developed collateral veins to bypass any potential blockage and to allow blood to continue to flow.  Without these collaterals forming, we would be in even more trouble so nature has intervened to protect us.  However we need to know the extent of any damage and the true cause before we can safely treat the condition.  I am on lifelong anticoagulation for Atrial Fibrillation which helps to keep my blood moving.  This may be all that is needed to treat my condition at present but I await full investigations to make sure that nothing is being missed.

I do wish you well and hope that you have no major complications

Superior vena cava syndrome

by Selwyn - 2020-04-27 07:04:05

This syndrome is a recognised complication of pacemaker insertion.

It is characterised by the symptom of dilated veins in the upper body.

You need to consult your physician as soon as is practicable. 

(see : https://www.healthline.com/health/superior-vena-cava-syndrome#causes                   ....ignore the bit about cancer!)


It can't hurt to ask

by Gotrhythm - 2020-04-28 15:25:20

I don't know about "dilated."

I have very pale, thin skin. Three or four months after the pacemaker, I noticed veins across the chest which had been just barely visible in the right light were now easily discernable in any light.

I pointed them out to the nurse in the cardiologist's office. She looked and said, "Oh, that's collateral circulation that's developed."

I would not use the word "dilated" which to me would indicate the veins were larger, thicker. I don't know if mine were larger since I don't know how large they were before. They were definitely darker and more visible through the skin.

That was nine years ago. They haven't changed much since then and have presented no problem. Many, many doctors have seen them since, and none have seen cause for alarm.

So, based on my experience, I think you might have nothing to worry about. Still, I value the knowlege and experince of Crustyg and Selwyn. Do what they say. Ask your cardiologist.

Visible veins, dusky and sl. larger arm

by Julros - 2020-06-04 14:12:24

I am experiencing something similiar, and called the office yesterday and am awaiting a call back. My adult son noticed a few weeks ago that my arms were different colors and sizes. Neither my husband or I could see it, but now my right arm (right-sided pacer) is visilby  dusky and larger. After some google search, I read about visible veins. I am on Eliquis, so I do not thing there is a clot, but perhaps some narrowing (stenosis). There is no pain, but I don't want my arm getting any bigger! 

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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.