Does electocautery during a colonoscopy cause interferance with a pacemaker?



by Julros - 2022-04-23 21:17:02

I suggest you check with your GI specialist to verify. I did this when I had a colonoscopy last summer, and he assured me it was safe. 


by Gemita - 2022-04-24 02:21:35

TAC firstly I wish you well with any investigation.  As far as I know electrocautery can be carried out safely depending on "where" the procedure is needed and the distance from your device.  The farther away the better.  I attach a few pacemaker club links below which give more info in case they help.

Most members who have had treatment have said it is important to have a cardiac technician present before/after the procedure to set your pacemaker in a safe mode for the duration of the procedure and then to restore any settings afterwards.  I would try to involve both a cardiac technician and a GI specialist with lots of experience.

I had a colonoscopy a few years ago.  The only problem I encountered was with the bowel preparation which I always find difficult.  I usually need to go into hospital the night before because I can become unstable and faint from those unpleasant bowel purges!  Also the shift in electrolytes can trigger worsening arrhythmias, so be prepared.  I was in AF with some pretty high heart rates for the entire duration of the procedure, so something to prepare for.


by TAC - 2022-04-24 09:14:11

Thanks Gemita and Julros, My colonoscopy has been scheduled for tomorrow. However, I'm in the hospital undergoing tests for a possible GI bleeding caused by Eliquis. I agree, the cleaning of the bowel is going to be risky, because it will deplete me from potassium and this can trigger an arrythmia. To make it even riskier, I'm off Eliquis at this time for obvious reasons. My question about the electrocautery is it they need to remove a polyp or to coagulate some bleeding. The gastroenterologist thinks that it will be just a routine examination, but I never had one before. I'll report back my experience, since I believe I'm not the only one taking Eliquis for AF or the only one having a colonoscopy.




by AgentX86 - 2022-04-24 22:36:31

Electrocautery uses electricity to heat a wire to cut and cauterize.  There isn't any RF used at all.  As such, there isn't any risk to your pacemaker (unless your gastroenterologist gets really lost ;-).

For most surgical procedures abticoagulants are suspended for a few days before.  I'm haveing surgery on my arm (again) Friday.  My surgeon doesn't think it's necessary but my cardiologist said that two or three days, before, is OK.  Last time I had a huge hematoma covering about a quarter of my forearm so I think I'll follow my cardiologist's instructions.

Gemita, it's interesting about the PM tech during surgery, My hand surgeon won't use his clinic to do the surgery.  Their policy is that they'll only do even minor surgery on PM patients in a hospital setting. The first surgery on my arm was done in an outpatient clinic.  Different doctors, different rules.



by TAC - 2022-04-25 20:49:37

Thank you Gemita and other members who responded. I just got out of the hospital and I have good and bad news. The good ones first. The colonoscopy went completely normal, without incidents. I stopped the Eliquis for three days. Still on the good news, I did not have acid reflux. The bad news is that they found colon cancer. As you can see, GI bleeding is not always a side effect of Elquis. A study made in Demark reported a high incidence of malignancy in people with rectal bleeding while taking Eliquis. The other lesson is that colonoscopy is safe if you have a pacemaker and lastly, colonocospy is a reliable tool to diagnosing and prevent colon cancer. Mine was too late, because I'm 89 years-old and in the U.S. they think it isn't necessary after age 75. In regard to what I will do, nothing. I refused cancer treatment and surgery. A still have quality of life and I don't want to trade it for a couple of years of miserable life, with a colonostomyor or tube feeding. Now, I will de eating all the delicious bad food I had avoided for decades in order not to die prematurely. Since my death is already overdue, there is no use for a healthy diet.

I wish you well

by Gemita - 2022-04-26 05:36:32

TAC I have just read your update. I am truly sorry you have received this news.  It is difficult to know how to respond except to say that I completely support and understand your decision at 89 yrs to do nothing while you still have a quality of life.  I am sure it is a decision that you have thought a great deal about since I am well aware of your acceptance of the impermanence of life, something that many of us have difficulty coming to terms with, including myself.  Medical treatments may prolong life but do not necessarily always lead to a quality of life and the decision whether or not to have invasive treatments can therefore be a very difficult one for many of us.  

Just my personal thought ... While I fully support your desire to enjoy unhealthy foods whenever you wish, I hope you will still enjoy a good diet and lifestyle too so that whatever time remains will be "quality" time.  Whatever our age, whatever our condition, our body and mind will always benefit from a wholesome diet, respect and care.  I wish you all the very best TAC and I hope you will continue to make a contribution to this site for a long time to come.

just had one

by dwelch - 2022-05-04 01:22:35

just had one, they were very well versed in pacers.  had the magnet ready. I didnt ask after, but clearly woke up with no pacer issues at least, just drugged, lol...

You know you're wired when...

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