Breast pain

Sorry to say that for no apparent reason, my pacer migrated to my nearby left armpit and now I'm experiencing pain in my left breast, constant nipple sensitivity, pain around my back and shoulder blade, shoulder joint. I can feel irritation all the time now, when previously, there was nothing.

 I purchased two new bras, take Tylenol every day and stay moderately active, with little relief. 

I'm sad and discouraged after visiting my doc, who xrayed and said the pacer could settle back in and heal, or we can relocate it in 3 more months(I'm 3 months post-implant).

Do you have some encouragement or positive feedback for me? Have you had a similar experience? Any further advice? I'm afraid I'm becoming obsessed with thinking about it, which was my greatest fear from the get-go. If it weren't painful, I'd be so very grateful!

Thanks to all in Pacemaker Club! Your words have helped immensely with my solo, scary journey!


Breast pain

by AgentX86 - 2020-12-20 13:33:07

I'm a guy so take what I say with a grain of salt.  I had very sensitive nipples righ after my CABG.  It was quite embarassing, though I didn't tell anyone.  It went away soon enough.  I think you may be having some of the same issues.  I'm guessing that your PM is irritating a nerve that also serves the rest of your chest area.  It may go away but after three months I'd be concerned too.

If your device has shifted position that much, I don't see it shifting back.  PMs are teathered to muscle with a suture to prevent exactly this.  If it becomes unteathered who knows where it's going.  If the tone of your post is really what you feel, IMO you need at least a second opinion or maybei fire your doctor now.  It sounds like you're just getting blown off.


by Tracey_E - 2020-12-20 14:26:13

It sounds like it either wasn't sutured or was sutured and came loose.They typically wait 6-12 months for it to fully heal and settle before relocating. Have you had a mammo (actually, ultrasound will be less painful) to rule out anything else going on? 

Arm pit and breast pain is miserable I well know

by Gemita - 2020-12-20 15:35:02

Dear Hightechgran,

You are not becoming obsessed - you are in discomfort/pain and this needs treating to help you to cope while you wait for them to either reposition your device or to see whether your symptoms settle without intervention.  I hope it is the latter.  With the Christmas period ahead I would ask your doctors if they could perhaps give you some more effective pain relief?

There are so many nerves and blood vessels in the armpit area as well as lymph nodes and during implant surgery damage to these is quite possible.  I have suffered from slight movement of my device too towards the left armpit and this intermittently gives me similar symptoms to those you describe.  When I look at my chest I can see a network of collateral veins around my device, under my left armpit and under my left breast.  I have had a CT scan and have been reassured that there is no obstruction to any of my veins and yet the pressure type pain in the armpit and left breast continue intermittently and certainly feels like blood flow problems at times.

An ultrasound sounds like a good idea to look for other possible causes for breast/under arm pain.  An X-ray may not be sensitive enough.  If the pain increases though I would not hesitate to seek help.  Pain can be a warning that all is not well and to have to wait for months to get help is just not acceptable.  I agree, seek a second opinion if you need to and make a fuss.  I do hope things improve for you quickly 

Been there!

by PacedNRunning - 2020-12-20 18:37:33

Been there!  I had bad back, shoulder and elbow pain post implant. I got massages and that helped tremendously!  The PM caused me to have TOS (Thoracic outlet syndrome).  Relocating it was the last resort due to complications or making it worse.  I iced the area of the PM 3-4 times a day for 15 mins.  I went on Amazon and order those reusable ice packs.  I also stopped doing any upperbody acitivity and went to a chiropractor for the rest.  It was so bad I literally had to lay on my back for 3 weeks straight. I found when I sit up if I had a pillow behind my shoulder it felt better.  Work on posture and relax your shoulders.  We tend to tense up since having our PM implant.  Ice, Motrin all worked. I took a good 3 mos to feel better and another 3 mos to get back to normal.  I still can feel numbness down my arm and slight shoulder aches if I do too much upper body. I was told those that were pretty active with their upper body either through work or exercise/sports, they tend to have tighter paces up top and when I PM is shoved in that area, it causes nerve compression and pain.  Make sure to stay on icing and find a PT to help with posture, etc.

Arm Pit & breast pain

by Wendells - 2020-12-21 05:34:12

I too have complained to my local gp of the pain in my collarbone, breast and armpit and was told that " I need to toughen up" 

Toughen up

by AgentX86 - 2020-12-21 13:05:33

If any doctor ever told me that, it would be the last time I saw him and I'd complain to the administration or perhaps even to the medical board.  A physician has no business telling a patient to suck it up (and at the same time a wimp).  He has no idea how much pain you're in, or if it's even serious.  Pain is a warning.  Unless it's well understood it can't be just blown off.  Heed it.

Many thanks to all!

by Hightechgran - 2020-12-28 03:30:27

Hi! First of all, thanks to everyone who replied to my post! I am forever grateful! Your expert advice and relative stories have made me feel much less alone and also more hopeful!

 I learned that my pm was not sutured and had indeed migrated to a new location, creating pain and constant irritation, when I was doing pretty good previously. Doc will not relocate the generator until 6 months have gone by, so I am to be patient and let it resettle(which is not happening). I feel very sad that my implant was not successful. I'm grateful that the pacing continues, but am extremely disappointed about my poor result and dread going back into surgery. What if it moves again? 

I did have a mammo, and in-depth heart testing just before the implant and all was well with the rest of my body; A+ on all accounts. I know it could all be worse, but am still in pain and stuck until March. 

Please take good care and love every minute that you are blessed with! I'll do the same and we'll get through this! Sending gratitude and hope for a beautiful new year!

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