Hi guys, 

i had my first pacemaker implanted on OCTOBER 28, i dont have pain on my incision but I have pain inside for sure, I can't lift my arm yet and sometimes when I walk/move or lay on my side of the pacemaker I feel the pacemaker kinda moving (thats okay I think I will get used to it). 
what is weird, is that today I've been having this feeling on my chest only on a very small part of my chest, a feeling as if a nail is going in when i breath deeper. Anyone ever felt this? 


Post implant pain

by Gemita - 2021-11-16 04:22:24

Lorina, pain following pacemaker implant?  You could say it is perfectly normal especially at this early stage in your recovery.  

I felt “sharp, sudden, pulling sensations” around my device for several months which turned out to be nerve related.  More worryingly I also experienced “an intermittent pressure type pain” across my collarbone some months after implant which continued for up to a year.  The latter was due to partial venous obstruction from pacemaker leads which slowly resolved without intervention as I developed collateral veins around the obstruction which improved blood flow.  I am now covered in ugly blue veins around my device/upper left arm, but at 73 I would rather have this than a blocked vein.  I am now free from pain, so nature has intervened with great results.

All intermittent sensations could therefore be normal and expected for you for up to several months or even beyond for some unlucky pacemaker recipients.  Also, some of us may experience slight movement of our device and this may add to our discomfort of pulling and tingling sensations.  

Nail stabbing type pain such as you describe may be caused by an inflammatory chest condition like pleurisy which is particularly noticeable when breathing in.  No harm in seeing your general doctor for some checks Lorina to rule out other causes for chest pain, unrelated to your pacemaker.   Although a pacemaker implant is regarded as a minor procedure, it is still a stressful event for the body and may leave some of us in a weakened state, not only physically but also emotionally which can only add to our distress.  I am sure it will get better for you if you allow nature to run its natural course.  

Although it is early days when implant pain symptoms would be expected, you might still wish to participate in our post implant Pain Survey if you haven’t already done so?  I attach the link herewith Lorina.  I hope your fears and pain subside quickly.

Lift your arm?

by Gotrhythm - 2021-11-16 14:20:13

I agree with everything Gemitra said.

Was a little concerned by your statement " I can't lift my arm yet." Has your doctor told you NOT to lift your arm for some period? Or do you mean you "can't" because it hurts to do so? 

Some doctors, fearing you could dislodge the leads, are very conservative telling you not to lift your arm above your head for 6 weeks. But studies have shown that dislodging a lead is very unlikely--certainly after a week or two. My cardiologist gave me shoulder exercises that had me lifting my arm by increments, until by the end of 7 days I was raising it above my head.

By all means follow your doctor's directions, but do no restrict all movement of your arm and shoulder.

Joints, including the should joint, are built to move and not moving them for a period of weeks can cause joint stiffness and pain in the arm, shoulder, neck, and chest. It's probably best to avoid big, forceful movements of the arm, but do use it and lift it at least to shoulder height everyday. If it feels a little tight, do the movements but just keep it slow and gentle, trying to stretch it a little more each day.


Pain or discomfort

by Prof P - 2021-11-16 18:17:27

I'm about 6 months out from my pacemaker implant.  The first couple of weeks are certainly uncomfortable.  I couldn't rest on the implant side (L) and I, too, thought I felt the device moving around a bit.  That all goes away with healing.  Keep moving your arm in natural ways (walking, for example).  Recovery can feel long.  If you have more severe pain, you should certainly call your physician.  

Pain like a nail

by Santh21 - 2021-11-26 22:36:34

Yes! I had my pacemaker placed 3 weeks ago. I thought I was going nuts with that pain. I could  swear I knew where the leads were placed. I likened it to a piercing. That is getting a bit better. I too could feel the movement/pulling with movement. It has been quite hard for me to restrict that movement as I am normally a stomach sleeper with my left arm up. Still haven't found a real comfortable position.

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