Getting a Pacemaker in 10 Days

Hello, everyone

I am happy to have found this site. I am scheduled to get a pacemaker on Tuesday, September 6, and I have no idea what to expect.  My cardiologist says it is an easy procedure. The electrophysiologist didn't say much of anything. 

I am getting a pacemaker with a defibrillator. I have congestive heart failure that is caused by a left bundle branch blockage. I'm hoping that the pacemaker will give me back some of my energy. I have been very fatigued for several years.

I'm going to go start reading all the posts here to start learning what I can expect. I am just happy to have stumbled onto this site. 


11 Comments

ICD

by AgentX86 - 2022-08-28 02:02:27

Welcome to the club, as a provisional member (for anotherweek, anyway ;-).

Pacemaker (you'll have an ICD) implant is a very simple in itself but everyone has a different recovery. For some it's completely uneventful. For others  it can be a little rougher but as surgery goes, it's a very simple procedure. Wrapping one's head around the idea is probably harder.

There is a survey here, regarding post implant pain, that you might wantto look at.

Thank you

by DoggieMama - 2022-08-28 04:01:15

Thank you for the information. I will look up the survey you mentioned. It will help. I can handle anything if I know what I can expect. I tend to have anxiety if I go in blind. Overall, though, I'm looking forward to getting better pumping action in my heart, which is apparently only pumping at 25% capacity now. 
 

Thanks for your reply. 

What to expect?

by Gemita - 2022-08-28 05:18:54

Doggiemama, this is the published survey that AgentX86 was referring to.  It was originally carried out to highlight the problems that a few of us experience following pacemaker/ICD implant in the way of pain.  However as you will read the majority of us do not experience major difficulties and recover well within 6-8 weeks.  I hope you will find the survey helpful.

Recovery time will largely depend I feel on the care and gentleness of the implant surgeon, our state of health at the time of implant and on the careful, secure positioning of the device.  The latter can make all the difference to our comfort levels following implant.  

My doctor recommend a general anesthetic for the procedure but many hospitals implant under sedation only.  The latter is easier to recover from and you can ask to be given enough sedation to send you peacefully to sleep anyway.  

When you are discharged home either same day or next day, make sure you have information on how to care for your wound and who to contact if you have any concerns.  Make sure too they tell you what you can and cannot do following implant surgery, while you are healing and your leads and device are settling in ... and what to expect while your heart is getting used to being paced.

Please don't expect problems.  Make sure you take good care of yourself prior to implant - lots of rest, good nutrition and hydration to aid recovery.  I wish you a very safe and relatively pain free procedure.

Please copy and paste the following link into your browser to open:-

https://bjcardio.co.uk/2022/07/pain-after-pacemaker-icd-implants/

New pacemaker

by Selwyn - 2022-08-28 07:14:11

DOGGIEMAMA

Welcome to the club.  We are a unique collection of pacemaker/iCD people. Reading the club site is rather daunting. The vast majority of pacemaker people have no problems and their health is improved, or their lives saved. 

The club is here to help people with problems and like now, reassure people that they will in general benefit from the procedure.  Most pacemaker implants/ICDs are straightforward and once the wound has healed most people forget about their implant. My Mother had a pacemaker ( x2) and my Mother-in-law ( aged 88) still has one.  Both never had any problems. 

Reading the club site posts  may not be the best preparation! 

Best wishes for a perfect outcome,

Selwyn 

Pre Pacemaker worries

by Woodworker1 - 2022-08-28 10:17:20

Welcome

I know exactly how you are feeling about the implant. I had mine 11 days ago and I have to say I was worried about nothing. I just had genaral anasthesia so recovery was very good. I went in at 1 oclock and woke up in recovery at 2.30. I have had very little pain and the incision is healing very well. I cant say I feel alot better but my friends on this club say I might be expecting too much too soon, My problem was bradycardia with a pulse of around 40, It is now 61 all the time. I wish you good luck and go in with a positive attitude and you will be fine.

Video

by Lavender - 2022-08-28 19:55:09

I'm new to these Doug Rachac videos (pointed out by a member here and Doug belongs too!)

He has one on ICDs. Copy and paste:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JOiy856C_Uc

Reading all the posts here may frighten you...lol

Most people do well with their pacemaker but here we discuss complications etc. Your experience will be unique to you. 
 

I have LBBB and AV block. I think you will find that your device will be a lifesaver. There's a recovery and adjustment time for sure. It varies. In the long run-it's going to be fine. Do one day at a time. You're on your way to better health! My ejection fraction improved to normal. 

ICD

by Old male - 2022-08-28 23:54:02

8 years ago, my ICD was required to protect against Sudden Cardiac Arrest or SCA.  I have a mid 20's Ejection Fraction and heart failure.  Yes, it also can pace.  Initial setting was 60 bpm then changed to 80 after a few years.  I would suggest you initially read up on ICD's as to what it does.  As for the surgery and recovery it's the same.  You need to avoid reaching overhead for several weeks to allow for leads to attach to heart tissue.  An ICD monitors heart rhythm and provides therapy (light electrical shocks) when it senses potential dangerous rhythms.  If necessary it will give a significant jolt to try and reset the heart beat.  This can be troubling to some.  Having had 2 shocks, I did not find it really painful but definitely surprising.  It's a life saving device.  Good luck.

Thank you

by DoggieMama - 2022-08-29 02:23:42

Many thanks to all who responded. I have a great cardiac team, and I fully expect the implant to go well. I've only had one surgery before in my life. It was a craniotomy, and I recovered well from that. I'm 11 years older, but I expect I will do even better with this surgery. 
 

Again, thank you for your time. Much appreciated. 

craniotomy

by AgentX86 - 2022-08-29 03:33:23

You'll do great. There is no comparison between a pacemaker implant and a cranioitomy. It's closer to brushing your teeth than a craniotomy. Really,  it's trivial. Many will have the surgery at 8:AM and have lunch on the way home. I was in overnight but only because I was pacemaker dependent after, so the wanted observation time to make absolutely sure that everything was working as it sould. I was back at work the following day.

 

Thanks AgentX86

by DoggieMama - 2022-08-30 01:56:19

Thank you for the words of encouragement! I'm getting a BiV ICD and have read all about it. I've watched a video of the surgery to implant an ICD. I am supposed to spend the night in the hospital according to my pre-op instructions. I'm really not too nervous about it. I'm more anxious to get it done. It's a little stressful knowing my heart is in such bad shape. I've had to wait six months to get it after my cardiologist ordered it as an "urgent" procedure because they have only two EPs and COVID has them both really backed up. I'm glad it's finally my turn in a week!

Welcome to my world

by ROBO Pop - 2022-08-30 22:10:51

I too have CHF and leftbundlebranch block so sport a snazzy top of the line CRT-D AKA bi-ventricular defibrillator. Now I'm not gonna blow smoke up your skirt and promise life will be rosy but you stand a good chance of seeing improvement with your devicem the two sides of your bottom chambers will be resychronized and should improve the EF so you breathe a bit easier. If noyhing else I do promise it will slow the progression of your heart failure. Relax and take it easy we'll all keep our fingers crossed for you

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