Moving position of pacemaker

Hi there!

I've had a pacemaker almost all my life and it's always been submammary. 

I'm due for a battery change soon and have been chatting to my surgeon about changing the position of it. Reason being is I'm thinking about what the surgery and recovery will be like the next time it's changed over (maybe in 10 years time) when I'm a bit older and maybe not as fit as I am now.

Has anyone moved their PM from submammary/subpectoral to underneath the collarbone? Any downsides/upsides? It sounds like with a traditional PM the surgery and recovery would be a lot quicker?

I'd love to hear about your experiences or any advice you might have!

thanks in advance :)



by Tracey_E - 2020-10-27 10:00:11

My first 4 were submammary, when I got my last one it was moved to subpectoral. My ep wanted to move it, I wanted to leave it where it was because I couldn't even tell it was there. He had trouble getting it out due to scar tissue and how buried it was, so he moved it anyway. Not. Happy. It shifted a bit that first year so the edge sticks out, not sure if he didn't stitch it or the stitch didn't hold, but depending how I move my arm, sometimes it sticks out quite a bit and catches on the edge of my workout bra. If I wasn't active, this probably would not be an issue. But I am active! I love Crossfit and kayaking and hiking. I was doing a Spartan race and scaling a wall, the edge of the pacer caught on the wall. OUCH. Now it sticks out more. I've thought about having it repositioned and my ep (new one, not the one who moved it when I told him not to!) offered to do it but it's annoying, not painful. It's still much better than it would be if it was just under the collarbone. It would probably be a lot more comfortable than it is if it had stayed put between the pectorals. Or, you know, I hadn't been scaling walls lol. 

Recovery would definitely be a lot easier if it was just under the collarbone but I'm active and that would drive me crazy so I'll deal with the longer healing times. It's a week or two of my life every 7-10 years, small price to pay imo. I preferred the submammary placement to subpectoral, but again, it shifted so I'd probably like it a lot better if it had stayed where it was supposed to be completely under the pectoral.

Thank you!

by funkymoocow - 2020-10-28 06:43:12

Thanks so much for the insight Tracey_E! I can't imagine what it'd be like to have a pm catch on something - that sounds super uncomfortable!!

You've given me lots to think about! Thank you :)

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