Chest ache 2 days post surgery

Hello all. 

I'm 50 and had my implant two days ago after a diagnosis of 2nd degree heart block (strangely type I and II have been mentioned on paperwork 🤔). I was given the impression that post-op the only pain I would suffer would be around the Surgery site. Today I had to go into hospital for a separate, unrelated scan and had to do some walking. 
I had chest pain akin to what I would imagine a heart attack to feel like, my lungs ache and I find it painful to draw in a full breath. Also my windpipe hurts like I've run a race. Has anybody else had this?  I mentioned to the PM tech guy that I was also have stabbing pains in my shoulder blade and lung, even though the implant is on my left. He just rather unhelpfully said I should have any pains like that. I just feel that I've been so I'll prepared for the pain and recovery by the hospital. I'd much rather choose the breathlessness and dizzy spells I had before over this which seems to be breathlessness, dizzy spells and extreme chest pain on top. I've read that while sometimes inserting the wires it can 'nick' the lungs as they are so close to the artery and this can cause pain which can go in a couple of weeks. I can manage this better if I know what I'm up against. The chest pain is still with me and I've been resting for two hours. I've also taken tramadol as the pain was so intense but it doesn't seem to touch it. Can anyone advise whether they've had this experience, what they did about it and how long it lasted? 


I would go to A&E and get this investigated

by Gemita - 2022-11-23 17:41:57

Sharon this is not normal post implant pain if the pain is as severe as you suggest.  I would recommend either tonight or tomorrow that you go to A&E for some urgent checks.  They will be in a better position to diagnose the problem and to start you on the right treatment.

Chest pain that feels as though you are having a heart attack needs to be assessed urgently and I am shocked that your pacemaker technician didn't advise you to seek help?

Much going on here

by AgentX86 - 2022-11-23 22:07:55

If they "nicked" your lung, you'd be in a world of hurt. That would mean that the catheter punctured the vein and found itself through your chest into your lung.  This isn't the way we're built.

Second degree type-1 (Mobitz-I) generally doesn't progress and doesn't often call for a pacemaker.  Type-2 (Mobitz-II) is much more serious and often results in the symptoms you've experienced.  My bet is that you have Mobitz-II😉.

Gemita is right.  Any "pressure" or tightness in the chest needs immediate attention. It will probably not be serious but you have to cover the possibility that it is.

People have widely varying levels of pain but you shouldn't have unbearable pain like this. What you're experiencing doesn't seem normal to me so it's hard to know how long it'll last.  Very few have serious pain so you're an outlier.  Another reason a medical opinion would be worthwhile.


As it happens, I have....

by Beni - 2022-11-24 13:14:10


You wrote "my lungs ache and I find it painful to draw in a full breath. Also my windpipe hurts like I've run a race. Has anybody else had this? "

I have.

But I attributed this to the 3 cardioversions I had during surgery because of the numerous AT episodes I was experiencing.  I can tell you that cardioversions are nothing like thay are portrayed on TV.  You don't experience one or two of them, then sit up, bright-as-a-button, ready to roll.  They are tough on you.  

Did you receive any defibrilation treatment during your surgery?

Your choice of words were, almost verbatim, to what I used when describing my discomfort to the attending cardiologist.  Including the bit about feeling "like I've run a race".  (Trust me when I say there had not been any runing of any description involved.  Perish the thought.)  The cardiologist was completely unconcerned about my complaint.  (But then, he knew that I had received defibrillation during my implant procedure and knew what was causing my discomfort.  He just didn't seem to feel the need to share any of that with me.  I found out much later about all of this.)

Afterwards, I also experienced a strange feeling, everytime I bent over, that either my lungs or my heart or, quite possibly, both were going to fall out.  Not sharp pain but a dull persistent ache and a feeling of pressure on the back of my throat. (I used to place my hand over the implant area or at the base of my throat when bending over.  Just to support the area.)

I can also tell you that these "feelings" dissipated gradually over the following 6 or 7 weeks.  I have no such problems now.  (I had the implant about 10 weeks ago.)

I don't think the actual implant, itself, played a role in this.  At least in my case.

But, just to be on the safe side, I would follow the advice of Gemita and Agent X86, and get this checked out by someone at a higher pay grade than the PM tech guy.  If nothing else, it will give you some peace of mind.

Let us know how it goes.  People on this site are, quite possibly, the most genuinely concerned and supportive folks you will encounter on this road you are travelling.  That we are all travelling.



by Lavender - 2022-11-26 12:46:54

When I first got my device, I couldn't lean over. It hurt my throat and chest. I attributed it to them going in through the subclavian area to place the leads. I couldn't lean to the side even to rest my head. It did pass in time. 

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