Swelling not going down...

Hi,

I just had my generator change a few weeks ago. Six hours after the surgery, the device site swelled up like a baseball...Was not expecting that at all!!!

I had to wear a tight compression vest for a few days that brought down the swelling a lot. However, after taking it off, the swelling has stayed the same size since. It has not gotten any better over these past few weeks. Doctor said give it 6 weeks. 

But, since it has basically stayed the same size these past few weeks, I have a feeling it's not going to suddenly get better over the next 4 weeks...

Besides the swelling, I'm also having pain when trying to bring my left arm across my chest. It feels like the device is pushing against my shoulder muscles!!! 

Any guidance on what I should do? Will the swelling and pain go away??

 

Thank you!


9 Comments

Some of us can experience traumatic swelling at implant

by Gemita - 2022-06-26 05:46:23

Vii, any significant swelling, bruising and pain following implant "usually" subsides over a few weeks.  Sometimes if the degree of swelling is concerning they may decide to do further checks to rule out an infection, obstruction or something like this.  

I am unclear from your post if you have actually been seen by a doctor for a detailed assessment of your implant area following your generator change, although I note you were advised to wear a compression vest, so I am assuming you have been seen.  Personally if you are worried and not reassured with the advice already given, or you develop new, worsening symptoms, I would consult emergency services for a fuller assessment and diagnosis.  They could at least rule in or out anything significant to give you peace of mind, or to start treatment if required.

In the meantime, some members find icing the area helps to bring down swelling and reduce any inflammation, bruising or pain.  You are bound to feel pain on moving your left arm across your chest with that amount of swelling.  Get the swelling down and your pain symptoms should ease too.  I don't know what else I can say except to hope that your symptoms will ease quickly but if they don't, please seek help.   I wish you well

Swelling after PM implant

by Selwyn - 2022-06-26 08:29:53

It sounds to me that you have had a bleed under the skin (haematoma) following your surgery. These things happen in about  5% of wounds.

The natural course for haematomas is that the body slowly absorbs the blood clot. Hence the advice to give it 6 weeks.  The absorption depends on the size of the clot. Sometimes big clots fail to absorb and become 'organised'  into fibrous tissue etc. or you may get them turning to fluid etc.   

You can expect some resolution, perhaps even complete resolution, though at present the absorption cannot be determined. 

You may want to read the general  and none specific account in:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hematoma

 

Thanks for your replies

by Vii - 2022-06-26 14:12:34

Yes I have been seen after it swelled up by my doctor, no infections, just told me to wait 6 weeks. No worsening of symptoms either.

I'm just quite concerned right now because it has not gone down these past few weeks. I'm starting to doubt it will get better in the next 4 weeks...

I read a post on here that it took 3 months to get the swelling down, OUCH!

Anyone on here with swelling after implantation? If so how long did it take to go away?

I’ve heard of that

by Lavender - 2022-06-26 14:17:18

The morning after I got my CRT-P device, the doctor came in to check the surgery site. He said it looked fine, but he also said he's seen some that were swollen as big as baseball size.  So, your situation is not unheard of. It's got to be so difficult for you and painful. I pray it will resolve in time-soon!  I know that swelling equals more discomfort as well. I always use ice on swelling and although some folks don't like that feeling, it helps me. You have to be careful not to apply it for long and to use a towel or something between the ice pack and skin. 

Hematoma

by Old male - 2022-06-26 15:43:18

Had one on inner thigh that looked like half a tennis ball.  Site where vein was taken for use in coronary bypass surgery.  Took a while if I remember but eventually disappeared and was painless.  

Site swelling

by Julros - 2022-06-26 23:50:23

I had prolonged swelling , more like softball size, with unclear explanation from the nurse practitioner, just a shrug and "it doesn't look infected " . The site was also exquisitely tender, to the point that I couldn't tolerate clothes touching it. I found that warmth was more comforting than ice. I eventually saw a physical therapist who prescribed exercises similar to those used after mastectomy and only then did I get relief. When I finally saw the EP at 6 months it was still tender to light touch and he postulated it could have been an atypical infection. 

Hi Julros

by Vii - 2022-06-27 02:19:11

Julros,

 

What happened next? Did they operate on you again?

Did the infection affect your heart?

Vii

by Julros - 2022-06-27 02:42:13

I declined further interventions because by the time I saw the EP the pain was decreasing. I lost trust that this office had any concern for my welfare; their were focused on the readings obtained from my device.  I have since changed to a different office and EP. I have no certainy that there was an infection and don't believe that my heart was affected. 

Vii

by Gemita - 2022-06-27 07:43:33

Vii, if you are really worried, I would ask to be seen again.  They could do some checks to look for infection.

I had a troublesome hematoma following right side heart catheterisation a few years ago.  The hematoma caused extensive bruising but no swelling.  I was kept in hospital for 4 days and told not to resume anticoagulation until the hematoma was fully assessed.  I had an ultrasound of the area and they confirmed I had a pseudo aneurysm (false aneurysm - a locally contained hematoma outside my femoral artery).  

Your situation is entirely different, and you may want to wait until 6 weeks to see whether your symptoms improve.  Alternatively, go back to your implant team earlier for further checks.  Only you will know whether your symptoms are tolerable and as they say "the squeaky wheel gets the grease"

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