2 months post op of CRT-D, impatient

It's been 2 months since my CRT-D implant, and I'm not really feeling much of a difference. Mostly less irregular heartbeats/slow rhythms. I'm 58 years old and 9 years ago I was diagnosed with CHF and had a 30-35 EF at that time. Last Sept. it was down to 10-15, so the process of getting my ICD was set into motion. Should I be expecting to feel better already with that low of an EF? Or is that too optimistic? I've heard of people with that low of an EF having pretty quick results from this device. It has the pacemaker, defibrillator, and therapy wires. Any encouragement would be greatly appreciated. 



by Tracey_E - 2023-09-14 09:25:53

Do you have just ICD or CRT-D? CRT is 3 pacing wires plus defib. This is the one that can sometimes increase EF because it paces both ventricles and forces them to stay in sync. Some lucky folks see a change quickly but it does not always help, sometimes it takes a few months to see a difference.

Present EF?

by Lavender - 2023-09-14 09:35:12

Have you had your EF checked since last September? I have a three lead CRT-P. My EF improved to normal in a few months post implant. I don't have an ICD. 

You're only two months in. Have you had your post op pacemaker check yet? Your settings can be tweaked if need be. 

Hopefully you are completely recovered from the C Diff. 


by R2D2 - 2023-09-14 11:19:32

I have a Claria MRI Quad CRT defibrillator with 3 leads. Yes, I feel lucky for that. 

I haven't had an echo since April, before my surgery. When I went to get my device checked the week after surgery,  it was working well. I just need to be more patient I guess.... the hurry up and wait scenario. 


Stay positive

by Gemita - 2023-09-15 03:56:06

R2D2, I have learnt never to compare myself with others.  We are all individual with our own unique heart condition and will have different rates of recovery, different results from treatment.  In view of your starting point - an extremely low ejection fraction (EF) - it may take a while before any improvement is seen, or take more than a cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) device to try to help with your heart failure.  You may be offered an increasing number of meds too, to support your heart.   Personally looking at your comments I am surprised that they didn’t consider  CRT earlier or perhaps keep a closer eye on you.   An EF as low as 10-15% is concerning.

Two months since implant is not long and I have been told that it generally takes at least 3 months for improvements to be noticed after CRT, although this could be shorter or longer as I mentioned above.  They usually like to wait at least 3 months after CRT implant before they check EF again because it can take up to 3 months to help.  Of course, for some patients, sadly CRT doesn’t always help as much as hoped and it will be a combination of treatments, including lifestyle changes that might be needed.

But I am here to offer support and encouragement, not to cause worry.  To encourage you, my sister developed sudden heart failure (cause still apparently unknown) two years ago.  Her EF was reported as 16% at the time.  She was only offered medication and her EF has recovered to 49%, so please remain optimistic to give yourself the best possible chance of making a good recovery.  I hope for the very best for you.


by Lavender - 2023-09-15 10:56:12

I'm curious as to what your present EF is. Perhaps after more time to heal, you can get another echocardiogram to see. I bet it's improving. The key is that they say your device is working well. Your symptoms relayed to your team might help them tweak the settings. 

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