Vein blockage caused by pacemaker leads

Hi my dual lead pacemaker was fitted in August 2019. Since it was fitted I had had problems with my arm and veins around the pacemaker site. During the last year my arm has become swollen blotchy and blue in places. My shoulder and vein in neck are also swollen. I have been diagnosed by a vascular surgeon as having a very rare complication of having a pacemaker, in that the leads have blocked my vein. I have had venoplasty and venogram. I take daily blood thinners and wear hand and arm compression bandages. 
Is there anyone else on here who has this problem? How do they find life day to day? 
I want to fly abroad on holiday, has anyone flown with this? 


Vein Blockage caused by pacemaker leads

by Gemita - 2022-02-01 08:49:47

Sandy, hello.  So sorry to hear of your vein blockage.  Please scroll down  (3rd post down from yours) and have a read of Cagwine's post on the same subject, if you haven’t already done so?  Several of us have commented. 

Actually trauma/obstruction of a vein following pacemaker lead placement is not all that rare nowadays and is a well known complication.  Many of us are fortunate enough to develop good collateral vein circulation around a blockage to help bypass the obstruction.  I clearly have from my network of large purple veins around my device.  You were not so lucky and needed a "venoplasty" procedure + anticoagulation to help.  (I attach a link below which explains the procedure).

I note you have cardio inhibitory autonomic mediated syncope and severe Raynaud’s Syndrome.  I have the latter condition too and several autonomic problems, so I can appreciate your difficulties.  

As to travelling, providing your doctors have given you the go ahead following your procedure, I do not see why you cannot travel and enjoy a holiday, especially since you are on anticoagulation and have received treatment for your condition, but please be guided by your vascular team. 

During any flight, keep well hydrated (water) and move around on the flight as much as possible, when safe to do so.  Get help with carrying luggage and remember to take all medication prescribed with you.  Good luck, stay safe and enjoy.

veins blocked

by islandgirl - 2022-02-02 23:33:01

My device was just upgraded to a third lead and my veins were blocked by the 2 previous leads.  The vein had formed collateral veins.  My left arm had been swollen for a couple of years.  My EP didn't seem that it was rare for this to happen.  One of my leads was 5 years old, the other 7 years old.


by SandyJ - 2022-02-21 03:59:15

Thanks Gemita that's very helpful I have read the post you spoke about, sorry for the delay in replying, 


by SandyJ - 2022-02-21 04:05:13

Hi islandgirl 

I have had this problem for the two years since I first had the pacemaker fitted. I don't really understand all about it but the particular problems I have are apparently rare  I am just thankful that I have a wonderful team looking after me  

Sorry for delay in replying 


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