new member

Six weeks today, Wednesday, and I must say except for the ugly scar I feel just fine. Very briefly, six weeks and three days ago I was digging up a seven-foot tree (just me with no help) on our property and moving it to a better location. That night I noticed my heart sill pounding. I took my pulse and noted it was only forty beats, plus or minus. Called my doctor on Monday, got a referral on Tuesday, and Wednesday went to the cardiologist had an EKG and echocardiogram. Three hours later I was in a different state getting my pacemaker. Fortunately, my heart is working very well, its just that the electrical signal was partially blocked. I was relived to hear the representative from Medtronic say my Azure XT is the latest model and made in Minnesota and or Arizona. Quick question, I can see the whole outline of the implant under my skin. Can I assume that this will not move from where it is when I swim laps or cycle? Thanks for your support and information, happy to be here.


5 Comments

New toy

by AgentX86 - 2020-06-03 21:04:37

First, welcome to the group that no one wants any part of.

What you have is called a "heart block".  It's the disconnect of the upper chambers (atria) of the heart to the lower chambers (ventricles).  This is a very common problem in this group (including myself, though mine was done intentionally) so you have a lot of company.

Yeah, I can clearly see mine, too, including the leads sticking out of it, wraping around toward the collarbone.  Some have their PM placed under the pecoral muscle, so it doesn't show.  This is a somewhat more difficult surgery and isn't favored by EPs.  If you don't know it's a possibility, they aren't likely to offer it.  ;-)

Do NOT play with it.  This can lead to very serious problems.

Pacemakers are loosely sutured to the pectoral muscle to keep them in place as you move around.  Swimming and bicycling won't cause any problem with it moving.  Unless something goes very wrong, nothing will cause it to move out of the pocket they've made for it.

If your only problem is heart block, you'll do fine with your Medtronic pacemaker.  It's (Medtronic devices, in general) not that great for cyclists and swimmers with damage to their sinus node but it's fine for your condition.

I hope you stay around and learn more about your condition and pacemaker.  It's a big help when communicating with your doctors and eventually you'll pay it back for others.  Again, welcome.

Dealing with the scar

by LondonAndy - 2020-06-04 02:37:02

I agree with AgentX86, though can't particularly feel or see my device which I suspect is more to do with the fact that I am overweight!  I also have heart block, caused by 'surgical complication' when I had my Aoritic Valve replaced, and so my pacemaker was fitted 7 days after the main event.  Consequently I have done most of my learning about pacemakers AFTER getting one!

You describe the scar as "ugly", and if it bothers you now that the skin has healed you can consider doing something about it.  I rubbed Bio Oil into my wound daily (well, most days) and after a good 6 to 8 months (I forget now) it is almost invisible.  At my fifth year checkup the technician had to ask me which side my device was on, because she couldn't see a scar!

great information!

by KF - 2020-06-04 12:17:22

Thanks to AgentX86 & London Andy, Yes, I will of course stay around. I was very happy to discover this valuable and friendly club. For a soon to be 70-year old who never needed meds & still don't , it was indeed a shock. I guess guys like to think they are indestructible! The scar is just a reminder , I have them all over my body as a result of my adventurous childhood. . Thank you again, I sincerely hope I can contribute in some way down the line.........KF, Hudson Valley, NY

The Scar

by Marybird - 2020-06-04 13:03:12

Hi KF,

Welcome to the club you wouldn't have chosen to join if you had your druthers.

I'm coming up on my first year anniversary of my pacemaker implant-June 12th.  The pacer pocket was swollen for at least a month after implant, and the scar looked ugly for quite a while after that. I even had thoughts about how good the EP was as a cardiologist/EP, but a plastic surgeon he wasn't.. Over time the scar has healed well, and is now a thin white line (seems he did a great job at the pacer placement and even the surgery itself).

But there is still some redness above and below that scar even after a year, and I can only attribute that to possibly a mild foreign body reaction or just some irritation, perhaps. The degree of redness varies, and sometimes (not often) it itches a bit. They suggested I take benedryl for the inflammation as it was healing, and it did help. It doesn't bother me now, when it's a little more red I rub some OTC cortisone cream on it, and at other times skin cream containing aloe and vitamin E on the area. That seems to help, and I think the redness will fade to about nothing in time. 

Agentx86

by bobjohnson - 2020-06-28 01:35:49

Thanks for the tip about the bio Oil. I have been using argan oil, but will try that. I didn't realize that the scar would fade that much.  Good to hear, although I am having mine cut open again after only three months to relocate it under the pec.  

You know you're wired when...

The mortgage on your device is more than your house.

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