Hi - I had my 1st mammogram 8 months after my biotronik edora was implanted. I would say it did not go well on the pm side. It hurt and felt like the pm was being crushed and the rad tech was very accommodating.  I am wondering how others did, I know its not the end of the world and I did survive but it was honesty a major BUG OUT!


Not fun

by Lavender - 2023-01-02 21:51:29

I've had two mammograms since my pacemaker was inserted. I'm not a fan. Lol The first time, I told them I was very nervous and didn't want the device in the mammogram. The tech put her hand on the device as the plate was lowered to block it. It did pull on that area and the device did show up in the finished film. My device sits on the upper area of the chest closer to the collar bone-not on the breast. I'm so concerned that it be left alone and not touched. I was sore after from the pulling on the skin. 

This year, I went for the mammogram and to my dismay not only did I have the same tech, but also had a student learning to do this perform the procedure. I was nervous and told them. Finally I just endured it to get through. They know what to do and many women have pacemakers. They can't hurt the device. It's me. I don't want anyone messing with that area at all. 

My mom has breast cancer and has dealt with it since she was 68. She's now 97. I can't risk not having the test. Next time though, I'm switching facilities to avoid this tech. Ugh I'm sure it can be done in a more compassionate manner. 

Agree not fun

by skigrl3 - 2023-01-02 22:13:44

Lavender, thanks for your response. I, too told the tech up front about my pm. I have a tiny frame which probably made it a little difficult for her. I think next year I will call ahead so that they know already before I arrive and maybe they will assign someone more experienced. I ended up with some bruising due to the peculiar positioning but that was the least of my bug out!

not fun

by new to pace.... - 2023-01-02 23:05:41

i still say having a Thermogram is the way to go.  Unfortuantely most insurances do not pay for this.  No crushing.

new to pace

It varies

by Julros - 2023-01-02 23:06:28

I was able to wait 2 years after implant, and it was still uncomfortable. I was quite fearful as I had site pain longer than many have related here. In fact, 12 months after implant the pacer tech had somehow struck the edge of my pacer, causing me to cry out and bring tears to my eyes. And I usually have a very high pain tolerance. 

I did tell the imaging tech that I was worried about pain, and I had taken an Aleve an hour prior as recommended by the imaging center. She was quite gentle, and very quick. She positioned the device in a horizontal plane instead of the diagonal plane.  Yes it hurt, but not as much as I expected.  I appreciated the tech's care and reassurance. 


by Marybird - 2023-01-03 09:43:10

I have had two mammograms, I think, since my pacemaker was placed. I waited a year after it was implanted. My pacemaker is also placed closer to the collar bone ( it's above the incision scar) so not in the way of the breast tissue. I have had the same technician both times, she remembered me and my pacemaker. She put her hand below the pacemaker while she was positioning the breast for the mammogram, to make sure she didn't inadvertently get the pacemaker too- just as a precaution. And the pacemaker has never interfered with seeing the breast tissue they needed yo see. This technician has had a lot of experience with cardiac implanted devices and is also very gentle. 


by Tracey_E - 2023-01-03 10:06:08

I've been paced 28 years so have had more than a few mammos, including one diagnostic (much more thorough), a bunch of ultrasounds, and one biopsy. My first 4 pacers were submammary and the current is subpec, so the pacer is always going to be in the way. That's why I usually end up with an ultrasound also, so they can get a better idea what's around the pacer.  I go to the same place so they know exactly where the pacer and wires are and they are very careful. It's not comfortable, but it's never been painful and nothing has ever happened to the pacer or wires. 

8 months may have been a little early. I would not go within 6 months of a replacement, a year is better. 

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I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for pacemakers. I've had mine for 35+ years. I was fainting all of the time and had flat-lined also. I feel very blessed to live in this time of technology.