Recent implant

Hi all

im a " newbie " here and had a dual chamber pacemaker fitted 3 days ago 

I suffered from bracycardia and complete heart block .

whilst I'll always be eternally grateful to the hospital and surgical staff - there seems to be a woeful lack of advice and support from the hospital, but this is by no means a negative comment- you all do a great job!

So , surgery / implantation went really well and was back home the same day 

The problem / concern / anxiety I have is the 3 days since surgery my blood pressure has been high ( normally 120ish / 80ish with meds ) now 140 and upwards / 100 upwards

Heart beat steady at 70 ( despite being told it was set to 60)

Went for a walk yesterday and felt so tired afterwards and still have ankle swelling - I'm feeling slightly dissatisfied!!

I really don't feel any different to pre implantation despite having a resting heart rate of 35 - now 70 

Am I expecting too much - too soon , or should I contact the hospital ( bearing in mind it's only been 3 days since surgery )

Sorry for lengthy post and thank you in advance of any replies / advice 

Warm regards Mark ( 58 years old ) 

 


6 Comments

Try not to worry but do let your doctors know

by Gemita - 2022-03-12 06:38:53

Hello Mark,

Warm regards to you too and welcome.  At three days I would not be overly concerned with anything unless you have worsening symptoms but I would run your blood pressure figures past your cardiology team or GP to make sure they are acceptable at this early stage?  At three days post implant I was experiencing changes in heart rhythm, heart rate and blood pressure (latter from increased arrhythmias) and this went on for a few months so your changes in blood pressure may be fairly normal at this early stage.

Blood pressure may increase for some of us in response to a higher heart rate setting and you may need changes to your meds initially to help control your blood pressure, particularly if you already had a blood pressure problem pre pacemaker.  Using a reliable blood pressure monitor, I would monitor your blood pressure a.m., noon, p.m.for the next week or so, to look for any trends to give to your doctors.  But don't get anxious about this, since it will push your blood pressure up even more.

I would ask what your lower (base rate) is set at:  it may be set at 70 bpm (not 60 bpm).  You could ask if it is set at 70 bpm, whether 60 bpm might be better for you and help with your increased blood pressure?  60 bpm would be factory settings.  I feel better with a heart rate of 70 bpm, but I have always had low blood pressure and a higher heart rate has never helped increase my blood pressure unfortunately.

Apart from bradycardia and complete heart block, do you have any other heart problems which could be causing fluctuations in blood pressure or swelling of your ankles?  It would be helpful if you gave us more medical history.

Good luck Mark.  I see you are in the UK.  Do not be afraid to ring 111 over the weekend for advice and on Monday I would speak to your doctors just for peace of mind.  In the meantime relax, keep well hydrated and allow your body to heal.  The procedure has taken its toll.  You may find your blood pressure will naturally fall over the next few days without any intervention

 

Trying not to worry

by mar892ree - 2022-03-12 07:39:32

Thank you for your reply it's very much appreciated 

Cardiomyopathy runs on my mothers side of the family - but a pre op MRI didn't show anything to be concerned about !

My problems all started last July when I went to GP for routine blood pressure check . Blood pressure was through the roof and low pulse 35bpm . I was admitted to hospital that evening ( despite feeling very well and fit )

Tests showed I had Bracycardia , complete heart block , thyroidisim, and Polythymacia ( blood disorder - too many red blood cells ) and finally obstructive sleep apnea!

But I've never felt ill- just tired , which considering my job and age was acceptable to me . I work 10 -12 hours a day starting at 6am and am a Fabricator/Welder ( heavy industrial furnaces )

I did suffer ankle swelling pre pacemaker but it was made massively worse by taking Felodopine and also suffered open wounds on my legs that wouldn't heal . Since ceasing Felodopine substituting for Ramapril my ankle swelling and discussing legs have improved a lot 

I've never particularly suffered breathlessness etc - just tiredness 

Im hoping as mentioned by initial experiences will improve as I'm only 3 days post implant !

Im still a little worried about my future / job as it involves a lot of manual work and welding - it's all too easy to have health professionals mention / suggest I diversify or retrain ! I'm 58 years old , it's all I've ever done and I love it 

But to conclude - I feel worse or at best - no better post implant than I did pre implant ! I'm just hoping that it's still early days and that my body needs to adjust and settle down to this metal box that's been implanted in my chest 

Regards Mark

It will get better

by Gemita - 2022-03-12 09:21:32

Mark, I think you will be surprised just how much you will be able to do with your pacemaker in the future once you and your heart gets used to pacing.  It is not the end of your life as you know it but hopefully just the beginning of a better quality of life for you. 

If you search under Q (top right corner) and type in welding in the search box, you will find many helpful posts on this subject from members who successfully continue with their occupation, but safely.  I cannot personally help with this subject but other members can and hopefully they will respond to your concerns.  All I will say is take it easy for a while, ease yourself back into your work slowly.  10-12 hours a day starting at 6 am sounds demanding!   

I was just the same initially with my pacemaker, thinking that I would be in a worse position with it, but how wrong I was and nearly four years on, my heart has never been calmer and many of my symptoms have disappeared.

Blood pressure meds can unfortunately cause ankle swelling.  My husband has this difficulty.  He tried something similar to Felodipine (Amlodipine) but had to stop this med.  He tried Ramipril also.  It is trial and error until you find something that suits, so don't be afraid to ask your doctors whether another med might help with high blood pressure without causing swollen ankles.  I appreciate however you have some complex health issues going on and I hope you are receiving treatment for these?

Just got mine too!

by DutchyDawg - 2022-03-12 12:32:48

I just got mine on 3/7/22 and share some of your concerns.  Please remember that they implanted us with our devices straight out of the box. There are hundreds of settings they can adjust and it may take a few weeks or months to dial it in.  Feels overwhelming but they will get you squared away. Their main concern was getting the device implanted and then they can fine tune.

I continue to have some lightheaded feelings and even questioned if it was the right thing to do.  They will check me on Tuesday and hopefully do the first adjustment.  They need data to work with before they can start though.

This is my understanding.  If I am incorrect then maybe someone with more experience will set me straight.

Whether I am right or wrong, Stay strong and keep the faith. That's all we can do right now.  You're doing the right thing by reaching out to this group for support.

Thankyou

by mar892ree - 2022-03-13 05:26:30

To anyone who commented on my initial post - thank you 

I'm much more assured / confident now , after finding this wonderful and supportive forum 

Theres so much info / real life info available- fantastic 

 

Mark 

Newbie also

by kterrell - 2022-03-20 13:42:12

This has reassured me on many counts- I had my implant done on 3-10-22- and have had quite a bit of anxiety and questions.  The hospital staff was great, but as stated by many here, there is so much they do not address.  Being able to read what others have learned and gone through is an incredible help. Thanks to everyone.

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