AV block Progression.

14 months ago, I was diagnosed with type II AV block and had my pacemaker fitted.  At my first check-up six weeks later, I was being paced 17 % of the time in my right ventricle.  I had a check-up today, and I am now pacing over 70% of the time, so I now have stage 3 block, which frightens the life out of me.  I know that my PM will take care of it, but battery life will be reduced (8.5 years left) and if anything goes wrong, I'll be in big trouble.

I know this really minor compared to some people's problems, but I had to get it off my chest.



It's Not That Bad

by Swangirl - 2020-10-29 17:24:35

Most everyone with a stage II block goes on to get a complete block and yes a high percentage of ventricle pacing.  It's not that bad.  Yes it might use up the battery a bit faster but I found a positive benefit.  When I was in Stage II and my heart was sometimes working my settings didn't work as well.  Now that I am 100% paced my rate response and other settings have been working for more than a year quite well.  My cardiologist and EP worked together with me on the treadmill to make a lot of subtle adjustments that have allowed me to be very active.   

it's common!

by Tracey_E - 2020-10-29 19:15:14

2nd degree almost always progresses to 3rd degree, that's why they gave you the pacer. If the pacer were to stop working, your heart would still keep beating, it would just be slow again like it was before you got the pacer. The good news is they do not stop! Failure is virtually unheard of. Most of us with av block pace 100%, that's pretty normal. I've been paced every beat since 1994. I'm healthy and active and have never had a serious complication. The thought of pacing all the time is worse than the reality. 

AV Block progression

by Gemita - 2020-10-29 19:25:23

Graham, this doesn't sound like you at all.  You are always so reassuring and happy in your outlook.  It is how you feel that really matters, not those percentages. 

Has anything changed.  Do you feel different, more symptomatic?  Do you feel the pacing in the right ventricle?  I am not so sure that you can answer yes to all of these questions. 

I somehow feel that you have talked yourself into thinking this is bad, unexpected news.  But is it so bad or so unexpected?  I think we all know that our condition will change over time.  Nothing stands still.  And you do have the cure for your condition already in place and it won't let you down.  Many patients are 100% ventricular paced and lead long, active lives and it will be the same for you Graham.


no worries

by dwelch - 2020-10-30 01:48:24

the pacer is sized for this, ignore the life expectancy on the interrogation report until the units are in weeks.  months or years it is a bogus estimate, forget about it.

Like Tracey_E I have been paced every beat since the mid 1980s, I now have a biventrical (and yes that means bigger battery so bigger device, they size the device based on the condition).

If you were going to have any heart problem you want heart block, super easy to treat with a pacemaker, aint no thing, nothing to worry about now that you have the device.  every 10 years give or take you get a newer...better...one.


If any thing goes wrong...

by Gotrhythm - 2020-11-01 16:15:59

You knew your AV problem was likely to get worse, and now it has. I was struck by the final sentence of the first paragraph since it seems to explain why the change in your AV status was a problem.

"If anything goes wrong"--- I guess you mean wrong with your pacemaker. And I guess you mean if anything goes wrong with the pacemaker you will die. That's a scary thought.

And you're not alone. Many of us here, for one reason or another, are dependent upon our pacemakers. We really can't live without them. What was the phrase on my last pacemaker interrogation? Something like, "Electrical activity is incompatible with life." Heavy.

I can't tell you that pacemakers never fail, but statistically I'd guess I have a greater chance of dying in a drive-by shooting than by pacemaker failure. I don't sit here and worry that the next car carries a shooter, and I don't worry if "anything" will go wrong with my pacemaker.

Today the sky is blue, I have plenty to eat, a place to live. Good friends, and as long as Amazon holds out, all the books I can ever read. Why ruin what I have today with worry that "anything" (unspecified) could go wrong at some (unspecified) time?

You can't control what thought pops into your mind. But you can absolutely control which thoughts you allow to take up residence. You can control which thoughts you dwell on. Worry that doesn't lead to planning taxes both body and mind. You can select the thoughts that actually improve your chances of survival, and help you get the things you do want. Throw out "if anything goes wrong..." It's a totally useless thought. You can't fix it. As long as you hold onto it, you can't be reassured. It leads nowhere good.

Living well with a pacemaker is far more mental than physical.

You know you're wired when...

You name your daughter “Synchronicity”.

Member Quotes

I'm 35 and got my pacemaker a little over a year ago. It definitely is not a burden to me. In fact, I have more energy (which my husband enjoys), can do more things with my kids and have weight because of having the energy.