Pacemaker and hietal hernia

Days after my pacemaker insertion I had severe pain in my chest and went to the ER. All the heart tests were fine. They believed the issue to be GERD and one test showed I had a hiatal hernia. The hernia was a surprise to me. Maybe it's coincidence,  but how could a pacemaker aggravate the hernia?


it can't

by Tracey_E - 2020-05-18 10:18:49

Timing is a coincidence. All the pacer does is raise your heart rate. 

hiatal hernia

by Gemita - 2020-05-18 10:19:13

Hello Quietman,

A hiatal hernia is a very common cause of GERD and can make chest pain more likely especially after a heavy meal or on lying down.  A large hiatal hernia can cause a lot of discomfort in the area where space between organs may be limited.  Even organs can be displaced by the pressure of a large hiatal hernia.  Also due to the proximity of organs in that area (for example the proximity of our oesophagus to our heart) GERD symptoms may trigger many unwanted heart related symptoms too:  I am thinking about palpitations which are very common with GERD and a hiatal hernia.

I note however from your Bio that you reported gas after surgery.  This can certainly cause chest pain and a worsening of gastric symptoms.  Sometimes when they intubate us for sedation we can get symptoms like this afterwards.

I too suffer from GERD and other related symptoms and I am very aware that these symptoms often lead to chest pain and arrhythmias.  Proton Pump Inhibitors which suppress stomach acid may help to calm symptoms.  

I would perhaps ask for a referral to a hernia specialist/gastroenterologist for an opinion particularly if you get severe symptoms again, or if your hernia is very large or likely to be interferring with other organs


by quietman702 - 2020-05-18 10:33:54

Thank you for your quick responses, it's much appreciated. Good advice as well.

Hiatus hernia aggravation with PM insertion

by Selwyn - 2020-05-18 13:22:04

Anyone who does not think having a pacemaker inserted is not a stress is probably without a brain or on so much medication that they have lost touch with reality.

Stress causes the stomach to make acid. It is well known that peptic ulcers increasingly  perforated when the bombing raids were happening over London in the Second World War. 

That's the connection.  Excess acid production will aggrevated GERD ( or GORD in the UK!). If you have spent time lying flat on your back, this will also worsen GERD. Best to have the head of the bed slightly raised. 


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