Hello. Everyone ,  Had my Pacemaker fitted 5 weeks ago . Last Friday I had to have the settings adjusted as heartbeat was too low at 52 now set at 60 bpm . I'm also on Bisoprolol 6.25 but still get occasional palpitations, hope the dose doesn't get increased because of the side effects I struggle with .My biggest concern is the breathlessness which happens  after about 50 yards of walking . I was hoping after the pacemaker was fitted this would improve or am I being impatient,  and maybe this will improve  after a period of time . I have asked but the answer was maybe. Just wondered if anyone had experience of this. 


Breathless after walking

by Going Forward - 2021-05-27 14:42:58

Just wondered if anyone had experience of this.

Yes, I experienced this. I had the timing of the response to exercise changed--it is a delicate setting apparently. Now my PM responds faster and I can reach a normal HR for my activity quickly. The device person had me walk briskly up and down the corridor for a few minutes to see if the change was working correctly, and it was. 

Depends what is causing your breathlessness

by Gemita - 2021-05-27 16:24:47

No MaggieMay, you are not being impatient.  You just want to feel well.  The problem is, it depends what is causing the breathlessness.  I do not think it is just a pacemaker setting problem.  It sounds as though it might be a combination of palpitations, Bisoprolol and pacemaker settings.  So which to fix first?  

If you are having palpitations, these can most definitely cause breathlessness, especially if your heart rate is high (for which you are taking Bisoprolol).  I also take Bisoprolol but low dose.  I get palpitations and they can take my breath away too. You could perhaps ask your doctors whether you could try another beta blocker, since you may find another will suit you better.  

I would perhaps ask your doctors as Going Forward suggests whether they could see you for an exercise test (or a treadmill test) so that you can show them what actually happens when you exert yourself.  They might then be able to carry out some adjustments to your pacemaker.  I hope the higher heart rate of 60 bpm helps.  It may take you a few weeks to get used to this new rate, so perhaps be patient for a while longer.

Of course there are other causes for breathlessness and if you are experiencing breathlessness even without exertion, I would pop along to see your GP for some checks.  Do not just assume it is a pacemaker, palpitation or medication issue.

I wish you well


by Persephone - 2021-05-27 16:35:01

Perhaps you could consider requesting a treadmill test to help determine any possible setting adjustments that could help you feel better - although Going Forward's approach of walking up and down the hall to see how the adjustments feel sounds a lot simpler than a treadmill test / being attached to monitors.  I waited many months after initial implant (in hindsight, I should have been more proactive, but I wanted to practice patience) before telling the doc that things weren't quite right, and we agreed on the treadmill test.  The changes that were made have worked for me to get the HR up more quickly, as Going Forward described, and I now have very little or no SOB when simply trying to walk or otherwise exercise moderately.  I would encourage you to see what can be done sooner rather than later.


by Going Forward - 2021-05-27 17:24:51

Yes, be proactive! It takes a while to get to know your pacemaker and you have the possible medication question as well. While I was walking very briskly up and down the corridors for about 5 minutes, the device check person was watching via telemetry and I was watching my personal HR monitor and all of that was helpful in checking the settings. A treadmill test would tell you more though.


by Maggiemay - 2021-05-27 18:12:29

Thankyou all so much for your input .When I have my 6 week check next week I will be armed with lots of questions !   Thank you 

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