How noticeable will my PM be

Hi everyone, 

Recently informed i will need a PM and i have done a lot of research but have a general question, how noticeable will my PM be. I am 38M and average build. I know there are several models but on average what can i expect. 


Thanks

 


7 Comments

Depends

by Lavender - 2023-01-19 18:01:36

I know that very thin people are apt to have more visible pacemakers. It depends on placement and how much muscle or flesh there is to bury it in.  My pacemaker is not visible at all even though it's not sub pec. I have to point out the thin small white scar to anyone who asks me about it. 

Looks like,,,

by AgentX86 - 2023-01-19 22:06:25

I'm a 5' 10" 200lb male (for reference).  My PM is plainly visible but not obtrusive.  The first few inches of my leads can also be seen and quite easily felt.  If you're concerned about it, ask if they can burry it under the pectoral muscle.

Pacemaker Lump

by Marybird - 2023-01-20 09:45:16

I always have to put a plug in for the EP that implanted my pacemaker, he did such a great job of both placement and the settings. I appreciate all this the longer I have it.

I'm of medium build, and my pacemaker is implanted subcutaneously about 2.5 or 3 inches  below my left clavicular bone, maybe midcenter between the armpit and the sternum. It's not really noticeable to see but it is easily felt when the area is touched ( I don't mess with it). The pacemaker was placed above the pocket incision ( guess that makes it a pacer cabinet, not a pocket?). As a result of this placement, the scar ( which after 3.5 years is a faint white line) is below the necklines of any shirts I wear ( I'm too old to wear spaghetti straps anyway), and the pacemaker itself is above the breast tissue and in a location that doesn't interfere with any movement on my part. 

It's such that I really could forget the pacemaker is there, and I often do just that. Though it's made such a difference in my life that I wake up every morning grateful for my little friend "Millie" ( last name Voltz) 

placement matters

by Tracey_E - 2023-01-20 09:46:27

Ask where they will put it. Some doctors only like to place them just under the skin, just under the collarbone. This is the easiest placement, both for reaching the heart and recovery. It's also the most prominent. There are other options, make it clear you are concerned about how it looks. They can go lower and deeper, depending on your build, or it can be placed between the pectorals.

When I got my first one, I was very underweight- 110 lbs, 5'6". This was in 1994 and alternate placements were unheard of then, but I was so thin and so young (27) my doctor wanted to make it as inconspicuous as possible. He brought in a plastic surgeon and they put it in from the side and hid it under the breast. I could wear a strapless dress and you'd never notice either the box itself or scar. IMO that's overkill and simply going a little lower and deeper will accomplish the same thing. But if your doctor is willing, it can most definitely be hidden. 

I'm on my 5th device now, went from underweight to needs to lose 20, and when I got my last one they moved it to subpec. It shifted, not sure if it's because of the surgeon or my level of activity or just bad luck but it didn't stay stitched in place. It pokes out now when I raise my arm. I can feel the edges of it easily but it still is not visible. 

Scar matters

by Penguin - 2023-01-20 11:38:44

If it's placed under your collarbone it will be noticeable via a bit of a lump. It feels enormous at first, but there's quite a bit of swelling which goes down. 

I'd say that as time goes on the scar tissue that you form is more noticeable. I form quite thick scar tissue, but recently went on holiday and saw an older lady with a very straight, fine silvery scar that only showed up a teensy bit and probably because she was so tanned.  

Ask your surgeon how he intends to close the wound and ask about scar tissue. Scar tissue doesn't tan and if you stay pale and interesting in the sumer a fine line won't show. If you prefer to colour up a little it will show and you will thank your surgeon for a fine, silvery scar. 

Over time

by Persephone - 2023-01-20 13:12:13

First, remember that you're in this for the long haul, so do speak to your surgeon in advance if at all possible to ask questions and have your concerns heard.

Second, yes, the swelling could seem very significant to you post-implant. This should be temporary. Plan and adjust accordingly with clothing choices and general activities to get you through this relatively short time.

Third, while our physical presentation to the world is certainly a concern, I finally realized that I wanted to cover my PM so that I didn't risk making other people uncomfortable by viewing it. However, my comfort in my own body is the most important factor here, so I have mostly moved past that concern.

Best to you - I hope you will feel well with your PM, whichever placement you and your medical team choose.

 

 

Thanks!

by clomeli13 - 2023-01-20 14:50:45

Appreciate all the feedback and information. Monday when i was told i needed a PM was a bit of a shock but after some research and information from PM club i know it is for the better. you are all awesome!!!

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