Infection Question


Has anyone ever had an infection after the implanted that was cured with antibiotics and didn't require surgery?

My incision appears to be healing well three weeks after surgery, however a few days ago I began experiencing pain in my glands in my neck and armpit on the same side as the ICD. I called my Primary Care Dr. and she prescribed antibiotics. She said if the pain isn't better in two days call my cardiologist.  I felt relief the first day. On day two of meds.  Will the antibiotics be enough or does an infection always lead to surgery and remove all?




by AgentX86 - 2020-07-18 11:19:00

You have every right to be concerned!  Call your cardiologist (or whoever did the implant) NOW! .  If you can't contact your cardiologist's office, get the to an ER.  Infections are serious stuff. Deadly serious.  Waiting is not an option. 


by Tracey_E - 2020-07-18 11:58:53

Infection does not have to lead to removal, as long as you hit it quickly and aggressively. It's great that you are feeling better but I would ask for cultures to follow up, just to double and triple check that you are using the correct antibiotic for the infection. 

possible pacemaker infection ?

by Gemita - 2020-07-18 11:59:00

Hello Shine,

When I read your post, my immediate thought was that your doctor is taking every precaution to start you off on antibiotics for a potential pacemaker/ICD infection or other infection somewhere.   I do not know whether she has carried out any investigations (bloods/scans) to confirm what the problem might be or the type of infection present ?  

Swollen glands and armpit pain can be due to a variety of causes.  You may just be run down from the implant procedure or the condition the ICD was implanted to treat, or you may have some damage to the nerves/blood vessels that run through that area caused by the ICD.  There are many possibilities Shine, but as AgentX86 says, I would speak to your cardiologist as soon as possible so that he is aware of your difficulties but also be reassured that with timely treatment as Tracey_E says, an infection if present may be treatable. 

As a matter of fact, I am currently undergoing tests for a possible pacemaker infection which may include a PET scan to find the cause for my night sweats, neck and left armpit pain.  My EP would be particularly concerned about pacemaker sepsis which could be very serious and require the removal of both my pacemaker and leads, so I do understand your concern.  However I am not going to assume anything until all my results are back.  I have had previous left armpit surgery (lymph nodes removed) so I feel it may be related to this and poor lymph drainage but my EP is taking no chances.

I wish you all the very best and please let us know how you get on


by shine - 2020-07-18 16:29:59


I am concerned too.  I placed a call to my cardiologist.  Thanks for your concern as well.  


by shine - 2020-07-18 16:42:55

Thanks Tracey_E,

I'm glad to hear that infection doesn't always lead to removal.  I'm going to remain positive.


Thank you!

by shine - 2020-07-18 16:57:49


Thanks so much.  The on call doctor responded to my call and stated that I need to get at least another day of antibiotics in to see more improvement. She also said that she is less concerned about my pocket because there's no puss or leakage.  The office will check back with me on Monday for an update.  

I hope you get good news from your test as well. Please keep me posted. 

Thank you all again for your comments and concerns. Your support is much appreciated.


Fingers Crossed For You Both

by Marybird - 2020-07-19 09:50:50

Shine and Gemita, hoping those infections are local, non-pocket or pacemaker related and well on their way to gone.

It's good to know such infections can be treated and not necessarily require pacemaker/lead removal. I have to agree wholeheartedly, though, with keeping the cardiologist in the loop even if an infection is being treated by a GP or PCP. 


No no no

by Tracey_E - 2020-07-19 10:54:38

No puss or leakage does not mean no infection!!!!!  That would mean more advanced infection, the key is to nip it in the bud by treating it aggressively and early so it doesn't get to that point.  Do not let them use leakage as a benchmark to decide if it's to be taken seriously. Try to talk to someone else. Insist on cultures when you talk to them tomorrow. Cultures will confirm you are on the right meds.

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I, too, am feeling tons better since my implant.