Possibility of change from pacemaker to icd

On October 19th of this year i had a Medtronic azure pacemaker implanted.   This past Friday after i woke up I had a v tach episode.   My pacemaker captured it at 205 for 15 minutes.   I am not at the hospital waiting.  Echocardiogram tomorrow and not sure what other tests.   My EP Dr is talking of replacing my current pacemaker with an icd.  If surgery can not be done soon He is also saying i will be given a Lifevest until surgery.  They have given me amiodorone and Metoprolol.. which has kept my heart rate down.   

I feel so scared and unsure about everything.   Can anyone give me some information on what i need to expect.   I read about the shocks... and frankly it scares me.  


Thank you in advance 




by AgentX86 - 2020-12-13 23:34:37

I'm sure someone else can tell you more about ICDs but one member describes the shock as the "Jesus jolt".  Others have reported it as less severe. If I were you, I would be especially careful until you can have the surgery.  Whether or not Indiana requires you to surrender your driver''s license, I wouldn't drive for some time (ask your EP).

At your age, ameoderone should only be taken for a short period (six months max)..  It is highly toxic.  I've been on it a few times, for no ore than six months at a time, and it screwed with my thyroid. It's side effects can include every organ, including the eyes. I've never seen another drug with a serious/common side-effects list that long.  One site basically insread of "may have", rather if you're on it long enough, will have one or more...  That said, it is the most effective antiarrhythmic.  If you're on it only until you can get your ICD there shouldn't be a problem.  I'd question it strongly if it were going to be much longer than that.

Ventricular Tachycardia

by Gemita - 2020-12-14 04:20:42

Oh Noel, have we found the cause for your anxiety ?  I am so very sorry to hear all of this and I send my best wishes to you that this can be resolved quickly and you will soon be in a much safer place. 

I am assuming your recent pacemaker adjustments have not triggered any adverse reactions since I think you mentioned elsewhere that the technician doing the adjustments found you to be “out of synchrony” if I recall correctly and felt that the adjustment he made would help correct any rhythm disturbances.  

Of course sustained VT cannot be messed with and is a dangerous arrhythmia but I would first want to know why you have developed VT and whether it could be due to a treatable cause which is why they are doing lots of tests first.

I note that you will have an echocardiogram which will hopefully give you good information and confirm why you might be getting VT and whether you really need an ICD or perhaps whether a different device, perhaps a CRT pacemaker to correct any dyssynchrony between your ventricles could be an option without a defibrillator.  Please ask lots of questions while you are in hospital.

Short term I can understand why they are trying you on Amiodarone which is an effective anti arrhythmic med although as AgentX86 says, it does come with some serious side effects so needs to be monitored closely.  I would focus though on your need for an ICD and the cause for your VT, those would be my immediate concerns.

Noel, please take good care, stay calm and clear headed if you can.  An ICD if you need one will be a safeguard to prevent a dangerous arrhythmia like VT from taking hold.  Hopefully the ICD won’t ever be activated and will just sit there protecting you in case.  If they can find a cause for your VT and treat it, it would be even better, but if not have confidence and go with the ICD.  They will still try to find ways of successfully treating your VT and other rhythm disturbances anyway  - they won't just rely on your ICD to get you out of trouble!  With good treatment (meds or surgical) they may be able to prevent the ICD from activating and causing unnecessary shocks, so there is lots that can be done Noel.

Therese xx

You know you're wired when...

You’re officially battery-operated.

Member Quotes

As for my pacemaker (almost 7 years old) I like to think of it in the terms of the old Timex commercial - takes a licking and keeps on ticking.