need a MRI on L shoulder

I took a bad fall on the ice and screwed up my rotator cuff in my left shoulder.  The orthopedist would like to do an MRI on it but I am Pacemaker dependent.  I heard somewhere they would have to turn my pacemaker off in order to do the MRI but I will pass out instantly. is this true and has anyone else done this?  my Medtronic pacer and leads are supposed to be MRI proof any comments would be helpful!  thanks!!


mri l shoulder

by new to pace.... - 2022-12-02 11:20:43

do not know about pacemaker dependent for MRI.  Do know you will have to go to your main hospital  as they will need to have your Medtronic pacemaker rep. there.  You will need to have your cardiologist say it is ok.   My right shoulder had the MRI.

 For me they just turn off pacemaker and then turned back on.  Did have something attached to me to make sure i was ok.

new to pace


by Tracey_E - 2022-12-02 11:39:38

They should be able to do the MRI, but you may have to look around to find a place that will take you, and it will likely be done in a hospital. I don't believe they turn it off, more likely they switch it to test mode like they would when we have surgery. 

I hurt my rotator cuff skiing a couple of years ago. My pacer is old enough that MRI is out of the question so they were forced to work around it. I saw a PT who confirmed it was likely a torn rotator cuff. I did the prescribed exercises, lots of rest and ice. This was a very conservative approach since we weren't sure what we were dealing with. It took about 6 months to heal, and I don't go overhead with heavy weights anymore, but it did heal. Doctors like to have the MRI, but they practiced medicine for a lot of years without the technology so there are things the can to do diagnose and treat without it. 

MRI and pacemaker dependent

by AgentX86 - 2022-12-02 16:22:12

You will have to go to a hospital that has cardiac facilities. All they do is download your settings and place your pacemaker into a mode where there is no feedback (RR, etc.) And a fixed pace. Get your MRI then reverse the process.

I'm also dependent and while it took a month to get all the paperwork done, the process took less than a half hour.

Pacemaker dependent too

by LondonAndy - 2022-12-02 18:36:31

I have had two MRIs since getting my pacemaker in 2014, which is MRI conditioned. I agree with AgentX86 -- I had to go to a cardiac hospital and a pacemaker tech came and did the adjustments to my device before, into "basic mode", and then reprogrammed it afterwards back to normal.

No ill effects in the machine, and I did not feel any different whilst the device was in this basic mode. The hospital I was seen at for whatever it is I needed investigating refused to do the scan, mostly on the basis that they didn't have a tech around normally who could do this, and made arrangements with the other more specialist hospital for it to happen.  In the past, there was often resistance to doing MRIs on people with pacemakers, out of fear of doing harm, but the position has greatly improved in recent years.


by PacedNRunning - 2022-12-06 05:25:15

They can turn it off or keep the device on during the MRI. Depends on which way is safe. I'm dependent and they just set it in MRI mode and paced me Higher than my resting rate at the time. So they set me to 70bpm. So I paced 70Bpm the entire MRI. Once over. They put it back to normal operation. 

MRI and PM

by runpacer - 2023-01-20 18:06:42

I have total block and pacemaker dependent. I needed an MRI of my lower back. My cardiologist sent me from UCLA SM to UCLA in Westward to put a team together for the MRI. Several pacing tests were performed and the procedure went without a problem. 

You know you're wired when...

You participate in the Pacer Olympics.

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