• by njh
  • 2007-07-18 07:07:23
  • ICDs

Hi everyone,

Just joined the club. Received my ICD in March, 2007. I'm not happy with it implanted subcutaneously. Hurts. Itches. Gets in the way. In Aug. I talk to the surgeon about the possibility of having it relocated under the pectoral muscle. Have done lots of reading about the pros and cons of the relocation. I've read a few postings from people who are happy with the ICD under the pectoral muscle. I'd really appreciate your feedback. Once the ICD is relocated, I know that the surgeon will not re-implant it if I am unhappy with the change in location. I exercise lots and do Qi Gong so I don't want to have problems with my shoulder. Thanks so much for your help.



Pm relocation

by CathrynB - 2007-07-19 09:07:45

Hi there. With the name Nancy I'm assuming you're a woman, right? I ask because I just had my pacemaker relocated one week ago today, and already I am thrilled with the result! However, I did not have it placed under the muscle. Instead it was moved about 1 inch toward the center of my chest to get it away from my shoulder, and 3 inches lower, behind much thicker breast tissue, but not under the muscle. Already, I have less discomfort than I had the day before surgery. I had the same symptoms you describe. I would add, however, that the itching was from development of a keloid (overgrowth of scar tissue) that I had treated with Kenalog by my dermatologist -- VERY successfully. But the pain and "getting in the way" remained after the keloid treatment, and that's why I pursued the relocation. My surgeon discussed putting it under the muscle versus behind the breast and said for a very active person (which I am) I would get the most comfortable result from behind the breast rather than under the muscle (this is why I'm confirming you're female! LOL) My old pocket is still sore, but the new pocket was only sore 3-4 days and now I can only find the pacemaker if I locate it with my fingers -- there's no visible lump and it doesn't show or hurt at all. I'm so happy that I'm becoming a major advocate of relocation surgery for people with thin skin, a prominent lump, and pain and discomfort that result. I suspect that EP's pretty much put all PMs in the same place no matter what, and perhaps that works for a large percentage of people, but I've been contacted by 5 women since I posted my message about relocation last week -- all who have the same symptoms I had and you describe. Feel free to private message me if you have questions. There is another woman on this site who has an ICD implanted behind her breast tissue, not under the muscle, and is very happy and comfortable with the results -- she's also active.
Take care, Cathryn


by mvl - 2007-07-31 07:07:26

I was curious how you went about discussing the relocation. I am 27 yrs old and on my 3rd ICD. I just had the 3rd one put in 6 weeks ago. I never felt the other two, but this one is almost completely in my armpit. I can constantly feel it and is sometimes painful. It was so long ago when I had the other two put in that I can't remember if at first I could feel them and then it eventually went away. Anyway, what seemed to be required in order for the doctor to want to do a relocation?

Had mine relocated

by jpope5 - 2008-05-29 04:05:07

I had mine put into a pocket in my pectoral muscle when it was time for replacement. I am very happy with the result. It is much less noticable and I am much less self conscious.
Be warned, however, that the recovery and pain and swelling was much worse. They are actually cutting into the muscle. But was it worth it? For me, YES!


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Member Quotes

I had a pacemaker when I was 11. I never once thought I wasn't a 'normal kid' nor was I ever treated differently because of it. I could do everything all my friends were doing; I just happened to have a battery attached to my heart to help it work.