First pacemaker coming up!

Hello, I am 23 years old and I have my pacemaker implant soon on Oct 6th. I was born with situs invertus and lived a very normal life, never had problems I just knew that my heart was on the right side and the organs as well. I live in Canada now and 5 years ago found out I have bradycardia (I was born with bradycardia apparently but never felt it or knew) so now Im told that Im going to have a pacemaker implant. I want to do it under the pectoral muscle because I dont want to see it tbh and I heard it hurts a lot like that. Is that true? How painful is it from 1-10 and how long it lasts? Is the recovery very hard? Also Im skinny and will it still show even under the muscle? 
thank  you!!! 


5 Comments

Welcome!

by ar_vin - 2021-09-18 19:24:38

To the club you never asked to belong to.

If all you have is bradycardia, the PM will get you feeling better almost immediately. Of course you'll need settings adjustments so the rate response is adequate to your activities.

I asked for and got a sub-pec implant for my first and only PM - so I have nothing to compare with. I didn't find the procedure or the recovery very painful. Of course I felt pain once the anaesthetic wore off in the hours after surgery! I used ice frequently both during the overnight stay in the hospital and once I got home the next day. My surgical wound was sealed with surgical glue so I was permitted to shower the day after the procedure once I got home. The icing and the shower made it easier to deal with the pain and recovery. I also was cleared to walk right away - I started to do a couple mile walks the day I got home and gradually built up to longer walks and jogs in the following days. 

My recovery was pretty smooth and unremarkable. YMMV of course.

You'll be instructed to not lift anything heavy for a few weeks,to not raise your arm (on the side the incision is made) for several weeks and you should avoid driving for a couple of weeks if possible.

You're young and you should recover very fast!

Please do report back how it goes.

 

Another Member in the Club!

by MinimeJer05 - 2021-09-19 02:18:37

Welcome to the club!

It sounds like you're in otherwise good health and facing this upcoming procedure with the right mindset on recovery and function. 
 

I don't have much detail to add aside from the fact that I'm 29 and I was told that for whatever reason, younger people can be more sensitive to the pains and recovery process and I just want to say that it's OK if you do feel a little out of it. 
 

The poster above me mentioned being able to walk and go about their life almost days after. For me, I'm going on week 3 and I'm just now feeling good enough to walk and like my incision area isn't in pain or hurting. It was mostly just super sore and stiff (5 out of 10 I'd say) and it got gradually better. 
 

it was odd though because I had open heart surgery in Jan of 2020 and it was definitely more invasive and painful, yet I felt progress was quicker and more noticeable with that one, whereas the pacemaker had me feeling like crap for a good week to a week and a half. 
 

I hope you feel better faster and have no issues whatsoever!

 

Keep us posted on the recovery process and feel free to ask as many questions as you need answered. I found this place to be a life-saver for both my mental health and my overall recovery. 
 

jer

recovery

by Tracey_E - 2021-09-19 15:52:04

Hello! Glad you found us. 

Different cause, but I also had bradycardia all my life and got my first pacer at 27. The difference for me was amazing, I had no idea what normal felt like until I was paced and had a normal rate. I'm 54 now and have never had a serious complication, am healthy and active and have two daughters about your age. 

When I got my first one, I was very underweight (5'6", 110 lbs) so my surgeon brought in a plastic surgeon to make my pacer less conspicuous. They put it under the breast and it was completely hidden. This was in 1994 and alternate placement was virtually unheard of so they were pretty much making it up as they went along. The downside is it was buried very deep and replacement was a little harder. My current one is subpectoral. I can feel the edges of it but it's not obvious. 

Recovery and pain varies. We all have different tolerances for pain and surgeons vary exactly where they put it. I was more sore than someone who has it subcutaneous, but I didn't think it wasn't bad at all. I took something to help with the pain at night to sleep but during the day mostly got by on tylenol. Ice is your friend. I found it helped more than any pills. I was moving gingerly the first week, back to normal but napping and moving a little slowly the second week. Any pain related to burying it was well worth it IMO. I am very active and I like having it out of the way. 

Wear a button up shirt to the hospital. You won't want to be pulling anything over your head the first few days. 

I found it helped to sleep hugging a small pillow. Kept me from rolling onto my sore side in my sleep.

Ice, ice, then ice again. 

Thankful!

by Lorina - 2021-09-20 01:05:20

Thank you veryy much for your comments, it feels good to know that I am not alone and a lot of other people went through the same thing (even though different situations/circumstances). I hope I have a good experience as all of you that commented in my post. Thank you again and I will keep you posted

Covid19 vaccine

by Lorina - 2021-10-05 10:13:12

Hello! I have a question, I am very concerned about the vaccine and I didn't take it yet, in 10 days I have my pacemaker implant and I am very scared of how it would react with the pacemaker. Has anybody taken the vaccine? 
please let me know!!

You know you're wired when...

Your device makes you win at the slot machines.

Member Quotes

Yesterday was my first day mountain biking after my implant. I wiped out several times and everything is fine. There are sports after pacemakers!