Procedure Done!

Hi everyone! 

Just to let you all know I had my procedure yesterday. It all went well and I had an upgrade from and single chamber to a dual chamber pacemaker, for complete heart block. 
During a stress test I was diagnosed with some exercise induced Non-Sustained Ventricular tachycardia, the doctors have given me and upgrade to a dual chamber pacemaker and 80mg of nadolol daily to stop this. Has anyone else experienced this?

I am in quite a bit of pain from the incision sights but that is expected, everything seems good with the new dual chamber pacemaker and the surgeon said he could immediately tell my heart was beating much more naturally. On my discharge letter it says that my heart function is stable, systolic contractility is good but there is dilatation? This has never been spoken about with me, does anyone know what this means? Is it bad, or not a concern as the doctors have never mentioned it to me? 

I am hoping that the upgrade to the dual chamber device and the nadolol should sort these issues and I can get back to normal as I recover, 

Thank you 



Good news

by crustyg - 2021-01-30 03:57:53

Hi Hayden: thanks for sharing your good news with us, and I know I'm pleased for you.

Heart dilatation is quite common in those whose hearts work hard for long periods of time - it's very common in endurance athletes.  On its own, it's of no significance.  Greatly increased ventricular wall thickness is the thing to avoid, so as long as they aren't reporting that I wouldn't worry about heart size.

Best wishes.

So pleased to hear from you

by Gemita - 2021-01-30 05:05:24

Dear Hayden,

I have been wondering about you and how your upgrade went and I am happy to know that your surgeon seems well pleased with his work.  Now you have the chance of building up your strength and allowing your heart to make a good recovery and it has started already by beating more naturally which is really good news.

It is hard to comment on the significance of your dilated heart without knowing the degree of dilatation and the cause, but it sounds as though your doctors are not at all concerned since no mention of this problem was made to you personally, so it was probably an expected finding for them.  It seems they believe with dual chamber pacing and treatment for your Ventricular Tachycardia, this is all that will be needed to effectively control any difficulties you may have encountered over the years from single lead dyssynchronised pacing.  

You have had a stress echocardiogram and your doctors were confident that all was well with only a short burst of VT seen.  Now be confident that you have all the right treatment on board to make a good recovery and improve your heart function.  Rest well, take care of your wound and move forward with confidence.  Great news and welcome back

Therese xx

Thank you both,

by PacerPrice - 2021-01-30 08:16:02

Thank you very much crusty and Gemita,

Thank you for your comments, they mean a lot too me. I am in some pain at the moment; especially on movement. But that is expected. I have been told that the dilatation is a slight valve leak, so nothing to be worried about, has anyone else experienced this? 

Thank you both and I hope you are well,


Leaking valves

by Gemita - 2021-01-30 08:53:47

Hello Hayden,

Yes mild leaky valves can be quite common.  I have three leaky valves which my cardiologist/EP is keeping an eye on but as they haven't progressed in years he is no longer too concerned.  If the degree of leakiness gets worse, then they would need to keep a closer eye on this by regular echocardiogram.

Just try to relax and don't be concerned about anything right now other than recovering well.  Did they give you any pain meds, or are you taking paracetamol?  During the first few days they recommended I took regular pain meds to keep on top of my pain.  I took 500 mg paracetamol every 4 hours during day, rather than wait for the pain to come and then go in with higher doses of pain medication.  Regular, small doses may be better, or whatever you were told to do to keep on top of your pain.  Gently keep your arm moving without overstretching  This difficult period will soon be over and you will then feel more comfortable

Pain meds

by PacerPrice - 2021-01-30 09:14:51

Thank you Gemita,

I am taking paracetamol and ibuprofen every 4 hours for pain, and tramadol if it becomes really bad. Which luckily I have only had to take once. 

I am feeling however slightly strange after the procedure, I have had a single chamber pm for the last 17 years, and the upgrade to the dual chamber means my heart rate follows my sinus node. This is very strange as I can randomly feel my heart rate increase and decrease as it fluctuates between 60-90 instead of the usual constant 60. 

thank you 


Good news

by Aberdeen - 2021-01-30 09:27:19

Hayden, I am glad your new pacemaker procedure went well. Good luck with your recovery!


Leaking valves

by Aberdeen - 2021-01-30 09:35:08

I agree with Gemita - regarding leaky valves. I have a moderate leaky valve which they are not too concerned about but I will get an echocardiogram later this year to see if there is any change.

It sounds as though your leaking valve is mild and nothing to worry about. I might be wrong about this but people can have a leaky valve which never causes any problems. 

Dual chamber pacing

by Gemita - 2021-01-30 10:30:14


Yes I know, I felt really strange at first with my dual chamber pacemaker.  My heart kept revving up and slowing down too.  (60-90 bpm) is still within the normal range for the sinus node (60-100 bpm).  Your Nadolol will be helping to keep the heart rate steady but it may take time for everything to calm down.  

I suppose we must remember we have traumatised the heart by attaching a lead tip to the right atrium/right ventricle and then we have imposed all sorts of control over our hearts and naturally our hearts are complaining.  Mine certainly did.  As time passes, these strange sensations will also pass and your heart should settle into a nice steady rhythm as you and your heart heal and your pacemaker settles.

I expect you have an appointment to return in 6 weeks when they might have a look at your settings and decide what may need adjusting.  The first few months is a period of learning, observing, adjusting to our new pacemaker.  We cannot rush this part.  You will soon get to know what feels right for you.  Your body too is adjusting to your beta blocker and this can cause symptoms too.  It took me a long time to get used to my medication.  Make sure you drink enough water and don’t get dehydrated especially while you are on pain meds otherwise you will throw your electrolytes out and cause palpitations.

Why did they give you Ibuprofen Hayden?  It is a good anti inflammatory/pain med for brief periods but I was told to stick with paracetamol as a safer option (unless you need to be on an anti inflammatory med) 

Thank you

by PacerPrice - 2021-01-30 16:03:10

Thank you Gemita,


Yes I have an appointment on the 3rd of March, this is for a pacemaker check and also an exercise test, to see if the dual chamber has got rid of the vtach I experienced during exercise. 

I was told by the team to use tramadol, paracetamol and ibuprofen. I'm not quite sure why but they seemed keen to get me on all of the medication,

im sure over time I will get used to the heart rates and feelings, but it is early days so will take a while now,

thank you Gemita,

hayden x

Hoping you feel Much Better!

by AnnaFerris - 2021-02-03 00:26:39

I am a newbie and can't offer any wisdom on Pacemakers but I do offer my very best wishes for your quick recovery and improved heart function.  It is so frustrating not to be able to do the things or activities that we want to do.  It frustrates me and I am old - I can't imagine how much harder it might be for you since you are so much younger.  I hope you are feeling much better soon and able to more things that make you happy.

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