Pacemaker

I had a pacemaker fitted in 2020 and every time I moved my left arm (left handed) it was rubbing on bone.  It was moved during open heart surgery in 2021 and was fine for a while.  It has now moved upwards and is grinding on my collar bone.  In addition it will stand up on end from the bottom.  I can hold both sides of it in my fingers.  My worry is that this amount of movement surely isn't good for the wires in my heart?  Can't seem to get any answers. 


1 Comments

You can't damage the pacing leads by moving your device *unless* you turn it over

by crustyg - 2022-09-20 12:40:34

I think you can relax about the leads.  The amount of flexing that you can achieve from 'outside' is small compared to the flex/relax they undergo with every heartbeat.  If you could get enough slack and make a sharply tented upside-down 'U' shape in either lead and then pinch the legs together *that* might damage the lead near the PM.

The biggest risk to the leads is actually managing to flip your PM over - which would mean that the strong anchor stitch that should hold it down in the pocket has broken or torn free.  'Twiddler's syndrome' is where a PM recipient keeps flipping the device over and it twists the leads around each other => lead fracture.

OK, that's the leads. PM grinding against the lower edge or underside of your collar-bone, that's not good.  Eventually that will cause real trouble and you'll either end up needing new lead(s) or a new PM or your PM moved in the pocket and anchored down (properly) again to avoid the pain.

I can stand my PM on the inside edge, but it's still properly anchored and doesn't otherwise move or slide around or turn over.  It's useful about five times a year to show fellow swimmers who are interested what a PM looks like/how big it is (esp the big battery version), BUT it's not something that you should play with or demonstrate hourly/daily/weekly.  Let it be and try to forget it, if it's not hurting against the bone.

I hope that helps.

You know you're wired when...

You’re officially battery-operated.

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