Stitch removal and pain

I am 78 years old and received my pacemaker Monday, Sept. 12th and am scheduled to see the nurse practictioner (my cardiologist/surgeon is not available or several months I was told) this Friday, Sept. 16th.  I am not sure if this is just for a check up or for removal of stitches.  As I believe it is too soon for stitch removal, I presume it is for a check up, but again, isn't this a little too soon after the procedure to have a check up?

Also, I didn't realize it would be so painful after the procedure.  Just getting up after laying down is quite painful, also trying to put my clothes on/off.  Is it normal to have such pain afterwards and, if so, how long does it usually go on for?   I wasn't prescribed any painkillers.  Is this usual?  I was prescribed a beta blocker and one baby aspiring each day.  Thank you.


9 Comments

recovery

by Tracey_E - 2022-09-14 14:00:35

Very few surgeons use stitches now that have to come out. They either dissolve, or they use glue or tape that comes off on its own. My guess would be a wound check this close to surgery, but yes that is sooner than average. Maybe double check the date, make sure it's not 10/16? That would be more typical. 

Are you icing? For me that helped more than any pain meds. Some people go home with pain meds but many do not. You can take something otc like Tylenol. If that's not getting it, it's ok to ask for something more. Many doctors are more conservative in their pain prescriptions now. 

I was told to wear a button up shirt the first week or two, not to try to pull a shirt over my head. 

Post implant pain

by Gemita - 2022-09-14 14:19:39

Zoey,

I had my first wound check at 7-10 days following my implant and then a 6 week, followed by a 3 month check of my pacemaker settings.  Yes a few days seems rather premature, unless they have seen something of concern?  Were you not given a discharge letter explaining about wound care and giving details of your follow up appointments?

Yes it can be normal to have significant pain for the first week following implant and yes it is quite usual for no pain meds to be prescribed since most doctors believe simple analgesics will be all that is needed.  Of course for some this is far from being the case.  The beta blocker is usually prescribed to help reduce any palpitations or a high heart rate.  Do you have an arrhythmia?  I note you are 78 years.  Daily Aspirin is generally not given for stroke protection any more, but perhaps you have been given this for another reason?

We recently carried out a survey on post implant pain and you might be interested in the attached link and results which has now been published.  It needs to be copied and pasted into your main general browser to open it:-

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

I hope your symptoms improve quickly and that you will benefit from your implant.

Follow-up appointment

by Julros - 2022-09-14 14:29:22

I agree, this is likely a wound check appointment. Please do ask for pain medication. With my first implant, it was extremely painful, and the cardiology office refused to prescribe anything. I found out later, after 3 months of pain, that my primary care provider would have, if only she had known. I just had an upgrade and made it very clear to my new cardiologist that I expected adequate pain control. I was prescribed 15 doses of a narcotic, have taken 7, and after a week, I don't need anything other than tylenol. Ice is helpful initially, but after a week, I prefer warmth. 

Hi Zoey

by Lavender - 2022-09-14 14:48:33

I see that you went ahead with your pacemaker! Good for you. Hope you're getting a lot of help with your animals! 
 

As others said, it's probably just a wound check. It'll give you a chance to let them know how you're feeling and let them see if your swelling is normal etc. 

Dissolving stitches are the norm. I had that as well as the glue/adhesive. Don't touch the area!

How you feel today will improve each day. Gosh it's brand new!  Ice packs helped me-be sure to put a cloth between your skin and the ice pack. I liked a heating pad over my shoulder and back at the same time as the ice! I took 650 mg Tylenol four times a day. 
 

May God speed your recovery! Wear easy loose clothes! Rest!!! It's your time to recover. The work will be there when you feel better πŸŒΈπŸ’•πŸŒΊ

It Will Get Better

by MinimeJer05 - 2022-09-14 21:44:47

Hello,

As most have said, it is likely just a wound check appointment. I remember when I saw my doctor for that, she practically ripped off the bandage and started peeling off all of the sticky stuff -- it looked a lot less gross afterwards.

As for pain, it seems that most vary in degree. I was fine with some Tylenol, but I was very sore for a few weeks (used the button up shirt, didn't lift arm over my head, etc.). I took it really easy, but I also tried to remain mobile (I walked around my house, etc). to make sure you are still remaining active.

Definitely let them know about your pain and they might be able to give you something stronger or additional methods to ease it.

Hopefully you are getting good rest and staying hydrated!

Take care

Jer

wound

by Roger A - 2022-09-14 22:20:06

I am not sure about anybody else in here, but my doctors would not give me a pain killer at all, I was told at my age, they prefer not to give me that. Only Tylenol. Again, you are probably going in to see if there is any infection on the wound? 

And Ice it, tha helps a lot

Good luck

 

Wound f/u

by Rch - 2022-09-14 22:23:38

Generally the surgery and the post-op f/u are scheduled at the same time. But if this 4 day f/u was scheduled after the pacemaker surgery, the surgeon may have realized the need for a sooner wound check at the time of surgery. Pain is the rule after surgery but you should be able to manage with tylenol as I did. At our age in the late 70s I would stay away from opiates or nonsteroidal anti inflammatory agents like Ibuprofen etc. Hope everything will go well with the implant! 

 

Stitch removal and pain

by zoey - 2022-09-23 11:01:15

A belated appt. follow up.   My original appt. of Sept. 16th was moved to Sept. 21, which was ten days after my pacemaker procedure.  And it turned out that I DID have non-dissolvable stitches that were removed on Sept.21st.  I am still wondering why they made my orig. appt. for just 4 days after the implant if it was indeed for stitch removal.  

Just one of many questions I have about the entire experience.  At my 9/21 appt. my cardiologist asked if I had received my Medtronic device yet.  Huh?  I had no idea what he was talking about, no one had mentioned anything about Medtronic sending me anything.  He told me it would no doubt arrive in the next day or so.  When nothing showed up by yesterday I called the Medtronic 800 number to get tracking info. on this package.  I was shocked to be told that they had no record of any device being ordered for me.  I had to give my mailing address, etc. to this Operator and was told it would arrive in 7-10 days.  

Is this normal?  Should I not already have this device and be using it?  I sent a message to the Cardiologist's nurse asking this, but it traditionally takes them 24-48 hours to respond.

The cardiologist seemed surprised to hear that I was still feeling very tired as he presumed I would have much more energy after the procedure, so he and the technicians did some tweeking, not sure what.  So now I THINK I am feeling flutters, just a vague uncomfortable feeling around my heart, but it is so subtle that I could be imagining it.  But, regardless, I still do not feel any better, just a general feeling of not being 'in the moment' just not feeling myself.    Is this normal?  Should I be concerned?  It is difficult to get an appt. with the cardiologist as he is overbooked with appts. due to a shortage of cardiologists in the area.  

I am taking a daily beta blocker and one baby aspirin, as advived by my cardiologist.

And, as I still do not feel sure about driving again, another appt. would entail asking someone to drive me there, a 90min. return trip.   

Sorry to ramble on so....   I know my problems/issues are nothing compared to many of the ones posted on here.  Thanks for listening!

Zoey

by Gemita - 2022-09-23 16:22:11

Suggest you might like to copy and paste your last comments into a new message so that others will see it.  When a post falls off the 1st page, any additional comments may be missed.  

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