Lead dislodge feer

Hey, I'm almost 5 weeks out from getting my pacemaker. Good news is I'm feeling so much better! I really don't have a problem sleeping with my pacemaker. And it's amazing how many things I can do easily that I couldn't do before now. I can't seem to get over my constant fear dislodging my lead


8 Comments

Normal

by Theknotguy - 2021-04-08 08:26:34

It's normal to have the fear of dislodging the lead.  A lot of things go through your mind after you first get your pacemaker.  

Previous discussions on this forum about dislodging leads indicated you'd have to be in a serious car accident to actually do that.  In which case you'd have other problems.  I worked with a person who had a pacemaker and was bench pressing up to 300 pounds.  He broke a lead but didn't dislodge it.  So it really takes some force to dislodge a lead.  

We used to hear on the forum about leads coming loose through natural heartbeat actions.  But we haven't seen that for several years now so apparently the doctors doing the procedure have found out what they were doing wrong.  

While the fear probably won't go from your mind, rest assured you can do all the normal activities you want without having the leads come loose.  And if they would, there isn't anything you could have done about it anyway.  

In the meantime, enjoy life with your new pacemaker.  (I'm going on six years with mine.)  I hope your adjustment to your new life goes well.  

 

you are healed now

by Tracey_E - 2021-04-08 08:41:29

If  a lead is going to dislodge, it's likely happen in the first 24-48 hours. The remaining time we are under restrictions (4-6 weeks) is precaution, not real fear of anything happening. Also, if a lead dislodges it's more likely to be because it's not in an ideal place or the heart muscle didn't like it, not because of something we did. After the first year, the leads are in so tight it takes a specialized laser to get them out. 

A really simple way to know that your leads are in place- they are pacing and you feel good. The first thing you'd notice if a lead was dislodged was that you'd feel like you did before. Everyone is cautious at first, that's normal! But it's ok  to get on with your life and forget about it. At this point, it's virtually impossible to dislodge a lead. 

You'll occasionally see activities more conservative doctors and patients think we shouldn't do. I've probably done most of them, with no repercussions. My doctors have always encouraged me to live my life and forget about the pacer, and I've taken them at their word. I love ropes courses, ride roller coasters (caveat, not the ones with magnetic brakes), kayak, have done Crossfit for the past 10 years, have even been on an Olympic bobsled. I'll admit the bobsled pulled a lot of g's and was pushing the limits, and it's the only thing on the list my ep doesn't know about lol. I still have one working lead from 1994, one was replaced after 15 years which is an average lead life. You aren't going to hurt your leads, go have fun. 

Fear

by AgentX86 - 2021-04-08 16:13:08

There's nothing to fear at all.  As others have said, at this point it's exceedingly rare.  Over the years, leads have been redesigned to have a barb on the end to hold them fast to the heart wall.  As long as they were inserted properly and the positioning is good, they won't fall out.  If they haven't dislodged by now, they aren't going to.

Lead dislodge feer

by Regina M - 2021-04-08 17:38:33

Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I can't tell you how much it has helped! I know I will eventually not even think about my pacemaker being there .  The comments have helped a lot with getting me some peace of mind.

I remember on my second device how nervous I was!

by asully - 2021-04-09 08:41:30

The first device never worried me, by the time I was out of the hospital it had been in place for two solid months.  But a year later when they added my atrial lead and swapped the device I was very nervous (my lead was tunneled down through my shoulder area, then between the chest, attaching to my abdominal placed device) they have a higher likelihood of lead dislodge when abdominally placed.  Anyways I was at the hospital for around 12 hours, and 24 hrs after they released me I tripped and fell walking home from the grocery store two blocks from home.  My arm was still in the sling and all!  I couldn't catch the fall and landed right on my shoulder and arm.  It was a hard fall, skinned knees, backpack flew over my head and landed 10 feet away.  Anyways I called my family before even sitting up, I was so worried I might have dislodged my new lead.  Anyways, I finished getting home cleaned up my scrapes, and my mom came over for a cup of tea to calm my nerves (and ego!!!).  The lead was completely fine, after that I never worried anymore.  I started lifting weights a few months later and got permission to do heavy lifting including chest exercises (sometimes they say not too due to possible lead dislodge).  By then all fear was gone. 

Just what I needed

by TLee - 2021-04-09 14:52:52

Seems I can always come here when I have a question or concern & end up feeling better about things. I was heading out for some garden clean-up (yes, I feel so much better that I am gardening!). Lifting the heavy wooden garage door to get to my tools was kind of a strain. I felt something sort of pull across my chest and of course thought, Oh no, I've pulled something loose. I am 3 months out & this fear is less, but not gone. These comments have calmed me down quite a bit, so I'm guessing the slight tug was just a minor muscle pull. Thanks, everyone. 

Garage door

by AgentX86 - 2021-04-09 15:03:12

If you pulled a muscle opening a garage door, perhaps an opener would be in order.  They aren't expensive anymore and may save problems down the line.  An adjustment to the springs (or replacement) would make it much easier also, and at minimal cost.

True

by TLee - 2021-04-09 16:35:51

So true about the opener--this "antique" wooden door is HEAVY! I actually do have an opener, but he wasn't home at the time (my husband!).

You know you're wired when...

You run like the bionic man.

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