Getting it out

Hi, I'm not looking to start a debate or anything, but I was wondering if legally I could request my device to be removed. I don't want it anymore. Would a doctor honour that?


9 Comments

Ask an EP - maybe the one that put it in!

by ar_vin - 2021-07-20 19:54:29

Why waste your time and ours asking here?

Just make an appointment with your EP and ask her; if she turns you down, keep going to the next one and the one after that.....

 

Yes you need to discuss this with your doctors

by Gemita - 2021-07-20 21:28:39

You need to tell us why you had your device put in in the first place and why now you want it taken out?  We cannot give a sensible answer to this delicate question with so little background information provided.  You could start by completing your personal history so that we can understand the real reason behind your question.  

We have had instances of a few members in the past wanting to have their devices removed and being prepared to go to any length to achieve this.  If you are such a member, I suggest you seek professional help.  We cannot help you here.  The majority of us did not join the Pacemaker Club to find out how to have our devices removed.  Quite the contrary.  We joined the Club to learn “how to live better lives with our pacemakers”.  As ar_vin suggests, you need to go back and discuss this with your doctors who will know your history and be best placed to help you or refer you for therapy.

Legal stuff

by crustyg - 2021-07-21 06:26:44

I think you'll find that the legal stuff comes down to a) are you completely PM-dependant (aka will you effectively die if the PM is switched off for 5min), AND/OR b) is doctor-assisted suicide legal in your territory/State?

*IF* you are not actually PM dependant then I suspect that allows you to clear the legal hurdle.  Then your challenge is finding a doc willing to remove the PM (quick and cheap), leaving lead(s) in place.  Removing leads is a lot more complicated and expensive.

If you are PM-dependant then it will be a lot more difficult to get over the legal difficulties.  At least in theory, most Western countries now recognise that adults have the final say over their bodies (with some very well documented exceptions).  The issue is that docs aren't keen on participating in something that might later be judged as aiding and abetting suicide, whether it's actually lawful in that jurisdiction or not.

There have been posts on this topic before, mostly relating to end-of-life treatments.  Many territories allow PM-dependant patients to refuse to have a PM with exhausted battery replaced, but don't allow docs to turn off a PM for those who are dependant.

But you're asking about PM removal, so my guess is that it's the device in you that's the problem.

Expense

by Tracey_E - 2021-07-21 10:04:14

If you can find someone to do it, insurance will not likely cover it so you'd be paying out of pocket. 

If you've had it more than a year, the leads are not going to come out without a specialized surgeon doing a laser extraction. 

@Gemita

by Highland Queen - 2021-07-21 12:42:28

The reason I didn't give a whole lot of info is because I was embarrassed about why I want it out. The truth is I am sad to say completely dependant on it. I've been a member since I got it in 2017. Given the info already provided I highly doubt my EP would do the surgery and my insurance would not cover this as it would be elective. So, I guess I'm stuck with considering we can't afford to have it removed, plus my husband would block me too. Thanks anyway. 

The End of the Road

by crustyg - 2021-07-21 15:46:30

I don't know if it's from personal experience but I don't subscribe to the view that anyone who has come to the end of the road is mentally ill.  But I do understand that it's an action that can leave a lot of distress behind - often much worse than the loss of a loved one.

My heart goes out to you.

n/a

by Highland Queen - 2021-07-21 17:50:45

Thank you, crustyg. 

I am glad you have received some useful feedback

by Gemita - 2021-07-22 00:55:35

Dear Highland Queen, thank you for your message.  I will respond to it by private message later today.

Gemita

Just saying...

by Gotrhythm - 2021-07-22 20:00:54

Yours is a question that comes up with some regularity here. I say that so that you will know you are not totally alone, or weird, or out of line for asking.

Whenever someone asks, I always wonder, why do they beleive their life would be better without their pacemaker? What problem would be fixed? What good thing is having a pacemaker standing in the way of?

And of course I wonder, is there another way of solving the problem?

As you've seen from the answers above, there's not much way you'll get a surgeon to agree to remove the pacemaker. Their job is to make our hearts work better for longer--hence the pacemaker. :-)

But since your question is legitimate I hope you will find someone safe to discuss it with so that you can find a way to work around whatever difficulties having a pacemaker is causing you.

You know you're wired when...

Your heart beats like a teenager in love.

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