I was at my family dr today, all went well and lastly she mentioned me making my mammogram appt. So later when i got home i did. Didn't think much about it then but now it hit me- i still can't raise my left arm too high, despite my 3 months later. Need any suggestions on what to do now, ladies.



by Julros - 2021-02-08 17:42:33

I personally would wait until you have full, pain-free movement, unless of course someone has detected a lump. the should only be a few more months. Another way to go is to contact the place that does them to see what they have to offer in terms of decreasing discomfort.  You generally need to reach your arm up about shoulder high and grasp a bar to get the clearest picture. iI you can't tolerate it  and they can't get the best image, then what is the point. 


by Gemita - 2021-02-08 18:30:45

Alli, I agree with Julros, particularly if it is a routine mammogram which can perhaps wait for a little while longer, then that is what I would do until you feel more comfortable.  Alternatively if it needs to be done as soon as possible, you could ask your doctor whether they could offer you an ultrasound instead which might be more comfortable for you.

Hope you are doing okay

Pacemaker not a barrier to mammogram

by Gotrhythm - 2021-02-08 19:50:01

I have to ask, why can't you raise your arm "too high" after three months? The area should be well-healed by now. 

If the problem is just that the shoulder is stiff and painful then it's time to get to work recovering your flexibility and range of motion. That means gentle stretching exercises, stretching just a litlle more everyday. Two fully functioning arms are better than one. There's no need for getting a pacemaker to leave you crippled even in the smallest degree.

If the problem is you just don't want a mammogram--okay. The choice to get it or not is up to you, but it doesn't really have a lot to do with your pacemaker. Women with pacemakers get mammograms all the time.

Mobility is not a problem I have

by TLee - 2021-02-08 21:51:39

I am not quite 2 weeks post-procedure, and I do not have difficuty raising my arm--I'm just not supposed to for 2 more weeks! I admit that I forget at times & find myself reaching--bad, but it is not painful or difficult. I agree with those who are saying that it is time to work on moving. I know there have been discussions here about wearing a sling or not, and the concensous seems to be that it will cause a loss of motion. I was supposed to wear mine only at night, and I didn't even do that, as I don't tend to sleep with my arms thrown up--who does? I don't know if that was part of the problem, but 3 mos seems like a long time to still have limited movement. Your doctor could maybe suggest exercises so you don't move wrong & make matters worse. I would however delay the mammogram until you can move more easily, as they might be a little too rough (aren't they always?!).. 

wait a bit

by Tracey_E - 2021-02-09 09:59:27

I would wait 6 months just to be sure any residual soreness is gone. 

If you can't raise your arm by now, it's time to look into physical therapy to loosen the shoulder.

Mammogram techs have worked with shoulder problems, they've seen pacemakers. You'll be fine. 

My Reply

by Alli - 2021-02-09 17:16:23

Thanks all for your input. My appt is on March 29. I am doing stretching as suggested and if i am still sore by then i will cancel and wait. I will consider phyiscal therapy even though i don't like the idea. I was told it is very painful and pain is my biggest enemy. Gotrhythm all i can say is i am a slow healer. I have type 2 diabetes and think that may have something to do with it. I don't mind mammos at all. They are not bad like some procedures i've had. TLee when i was 2wks post i felt miserable! If you have seen my past post you can tell how upset i was. I think all males have the advantage here, being much stronger then me. Yes i did have to wear a sling. When i went to an appt the nurse nearly jerked it off me as if she was mad. But noone told me when to stop wearing it. My team of drs and nurses of mine are not the best, not even close.


by Tracey_E - 2021-02-10 10:35:05

The sling usually doesn't get worn after we are discharged. 

Not-great care

by TLee - 2021-02-10 11:09:02

Alli, I am really sad that your medical care is not very good. We put ourselves in their hands & we need to be able to trust them! I believe that my doctors & clinic staff are some of the best, but even I feel a little neglected at times. Maybe you could look into a different care team, if that is possible in your situation. 

mammogram done via thermography

by new to pace.... - 2021-02-11 14:15:18

You might look into have a Thermography done.    Is a Therrmal imaging system that measures and records skin temperature patterns and inflammation.  You sit in front of a camera.  You might look into this way.  I have had this done before pacemaker and of course after.  This is painless. 

new to pace

Regarding PT

by Julros - 2021-02-11 17:52:10

Alli, I got PT when I still had significant swelling and burning pain 4 months after implant.  EP nurse practioner said he had nothing to offer and referred me to primary. Her idea was medical marijuana. I asked for and got a PT referral. It started with daily, gentle stretching twice a day. When pain decreased, I was given strengthening exercises to balance out the muscles of my chest and shoulder. From my research, much of what I did is similiar to exercises done post mastectomy. Also, I found gentle heat relieved pain better than cold. 

Thermography recommened

by Nana Barb - 2021-02-17 16:25:01

If you can't raise your arm after 3 mos., I would look into PT also and wait to get a mammogram. Try looking into thermography instead of mammogram.


by Alli - 2021-02-20 21:36:56

I just found out that Medicare does not cover thermography. I am trying to find out if Wellcare does.

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