Just removed my bandage after my third pacemaker

Hi everyone! This is the first time I've posted. But I'ved appreciated the information I've gotten from all of you over the years, thank you! I was initially given a pacemaker at the age of 41, in 2005, due to bradycardia secondary to sick sinus syndrome. Later, I was diagnosed with dysautonomia, And there seems to be various opinions about whether the dysautonomia may have caused the sick sinus syndrome or vice versa or two separate things. I just had my second generator replacement, and this time, they put in a new, meaning a different brand, of pacemaker. Which is great because I had a St Jude's pacemaker before and it never was very helpful in terms of rate responsiveness. So I've been tired, extremely tired, since 2005. In fact, I lost a career that I loved, and a life that I loved as I was not able to date after my divorce, and I was also not able to adopt a child. Okay, I'm getting off topic. So I took the bandage off today, it's been 80 hours or so, they told me I could take it off. It looks awful! And, I've done this twice before. This time the surgeon put in a zip line rather than using steri-strips which is what I've always had before. So that's okay but there's this open area and it looks really gross. It  does not seem infected, And I'm watching that very closely. However the open wound is a bummer, and I have some loose bandage over it as I don't want it to be exposed but I want it to heal of course. I was a bit more active after this battery replacement then I was after the procedure both times before. It's probably because I felt a little better and I did a bit more. I'm not in a lot of pain but I'm taking a lot of Tylenol, and really it just feels uncomfortable and a bit itchy. Has anyone else been through this? I mean I was so seriously grossed out after I took the bandage off and that is not like me at all. Since then, I'm being extra careful and trying not to move. However it's Sunday night and it's almost 8:00 p.m. and I was planning to drive to my follow-upappointment on Wednesday, which is a 2-hour drive. I'm wondering if I should delay this appointment or even figure out a way to get a ride. The whole thing just has me a little freaked out. Any words of wisdom would help, even if it's just telling me to take a deep breath and it's fine. Thank you! wishing you all the best, Kathy


6 Comments

Please do not delay in seeking help

by Gemita - 2021-09-13 03:53:39

If as you say there "is an open area and it looks really gross" you need to have an immediate assessment made by a health professional.  An open pacemaker wound should always be treated as a medical emergency in my opinion and you need to get to A&E/ER sooner rather than later to get the wound closed as quickly as possible to prevent any bacteria from entering the wound and potentially infecting the whole of your pacemaker system (device and leads), necessitating its immediate removal.   A  serious bloodstream infection like sepsis for instance could be a devastating consequence of not taking immediate action to close an open wound.  Sepsis or another serious infection, as you will know, can lead quickly to serious health conditions, perhaps even loss of limb or death.   Remember leads are attached to your heart tissue and if bacteria enters through the open wound, spreading around your device and down your leads, you could be in serious trouble very quickly.

Don't be afraid to err on the side of caution and get seen.  I hope for the best.  

Okay I'm reaching out for help

by Kpflma - 2021-09-13 13:38:45

Thank you both for your comments, much appreciated! I did have a restful evening and the wound looks the same this morning. So I called the hospital again and I also called my primary care. I'm going to have somebody look at it today. In the meantime I'm going to keep it bandaged up and clean. I didn't realize all those ramifications of an infection! That does not sound good! I'll write back with any news. Thanks again, Kathy

All seems fine, whew!

by Kpflma - 2021-09-13 14:51:12

I sent the hospital a picture of my incision, and they called back to say it looks fine. Glad I did that because now I feel much relieved. I guess since this was a different way of closing it up, it just looks really different to me. So I'm no longer worried about it or grossed out and preparing for my follow-up appointment. Thanks so much for your input! Kathy

Incision Infection

by Stache - 2021-09-13 18:16:23

After my 3rd degree complete heart block I had a dual chamber pacer installed and a month later my incision blew open with pus and blood running down my chest.  Telephoned the hospital and they had me go in “right now”.  My pacer was removed and a lot of dead tissue was cut out.  Three nights in the hospital and sent back home to recover.  It has been 5-months and I have a little infection currently taking antibiotics to clear it up.  When in doubt go have a urine test to see if you have an infection or not.  My urologist is always checking me for infections since my TURP a year ago is how I found out I have an infection now.  The infection also showed up in my blood count test I recently had.

Woah!

by MinimeJer05 - 2021-09-13 23:17:23

@stache

Woah, that sounds insane. I've never heard of an infection like that. Glad you got it taken care of ASAP and aren't dealing with it anymore (hopefully not). 
 

Take care 

 

jer

Surgery & Recovery

by Old male - 2021-09-14 11:38:15

Both times my incisions were closed with Dermabond adhesive....not stitches.  Last time in March, I had some itching that went away after the adhesive was peeled off.  

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