Vasovagal Syncope

Hello Everyone,

Does anyone have a pacemaker for vasovagal syncope?

My cardiologist informed me that the reason for my pacemaker is due to a 20 second heart pause during my tilt table test and episodes of vasovagal syncope at home. At this time time we are not sure what has been causing these symptoms.

What COULD cause these symptoms?

Are there other options for treatment besides a pacemaker?

Should I get a second opinion?





Vasovagal syncope

by Gemita - 2021-07-29 10:49:55

Tay, my thoughts?  It looks as though you are finding it difficult to move on or to accept your pacemaker and still appear to be asking whether it was necessary? In my opinion you most definitely needed treatment for a 20 second pause, whatever the cause, and your pacemaker is there to protect you and to keep you safe. 

Of course there is no harm in seeking a second opinion on your vasovagal syncope or to get additional treatment for any other concerning symptoms which may not have been completely addressed by your pacemaker, since a pacemaker may not be able to treat all the causes for your syncope as I have discovered.

I suffer from vasovagal syncope, more particularly, swallow syncope, which cannot always be prevented by my pacemaker but I also have both tachy and brady arrhythmias, which are most definitely helped by my pacemaker, so it was easy for me to make a decision to get a pacemaker and to learn to trust it and to be happy with it. 

You seem to be still questioning the need for your pacemaker, even with a 20 second pause, asking whether there are other treatments.  Are you still fainting during the night or at other times?  If the problem still remains, I would seek additional, specialist help.  My cardiologist referred me to a consultant who carried out a number of autonomic function tests for my syncope because he was initially concerned that a pacemaker alone wouldn’t always help me.   Just by speaking to someone who understood my fears helped.  I am now having treatment for my swallowing difficulties.  For me the treatment was a combination of pacemaker, medication and an occasional surgical procedure to keep my oesphagus dilated.  

The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly.  Vasovagal syncope is complex and there are more questions than answers, but one thing I feel certain about is that you needed your pacemaker.  Now you need to get your other questions answered.  

There are several forms of vasovagal syncope, for example situational syncope can cause a temporary loss of consciousness in a particular situation, for example, when straining to have a bowel movement/urinating, coughing, swallowing, during emotional stress.  In my case swallow syncope is caused by oesophageal stimulation which can trigger bradycardia and a fall in blood pressure very quickly.  It can also trigger tachycardia.  A fall in blood pressure cannot be controlled by a pacemaker as can a fall in heart rate.  You may need further autonomic testing to try to pinpoint the actual cause for your syncope if it is still occurring and causing symptoms.  

I hope in some way I have helped you and not made matters worse 


by taywal93 - 2021-07-30 12:14:39


Thank-you for your response! I enjoyed reading your post. I will continue to search for answers -but in the meantime - I will appreciate the pacemaker. 


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