Questions to Ask?

Hi Everybody,
Going for first three month checkup of StJude Frontier II Model 5586 biventricular pacemaker. Know hardly anything about the device. Understand the checkup done by St. Jude technician with nurse from Cardiology Lab. Don't seem to have any problems with device. Usually feel tired. Has anyone got advice on what questions to ask?



by SMITTY - 2007-10-25 07:10:18

I'm sure the following is an overkill, but not knowing what you may or may not know about your PM I'll include all of them. You can go through and pick those that interest you. This was posted here some weeks or months ago.

Good luck


Pacemaker Quetions:

1 – Why do I need a pacemaker?

2 – How will a pacemaker help my heart?

3 – What complications can arise from getting a pacemaker?

4 – Are the wires or leads inside or outside my heart?

5 - What keeps the leads in place? Are they sewn in place?

6 - How long is the surgery to implant a pacemaker?

7 – Do pacemakers ever fail to work?

8 – Will I die in a short time if my pacemaker were to quit working?

9 – Will I be able to feel the pacemaker when it makes my heart beat?

10 - How long does the battery in a pacemaker last?

11 – Must I have surgery to replace the battery?

12 – Whom should I call if I have a problem with my pacemaker?

13 – How many pacemakers have you implanted?

14 - Where will my pacemaker be located?

15 - Will my pacemaker be very noticeable?

16 - Will my pacemaker be helping my heart 100% of the time?

17 – My heart feels as if it skips beats sometimes, can a pacemaker stop this?

18 – I have heard pacemakers can cause hiccups. How does this happen?

19 - I have heard that some people say they feel as if they are being shocked by their pacemaker, how can this happen?

20 – I have read some people get infections around the pacemaker site, is this serious condition?

21 – I understand I must have checkups on my pacemaker. Where will they be done?

22 – Who will do these checkups?

23 – How long does it take to have a checkup?

24 – How often will I have a checkup?

25 - Will I be able to continue to work at my present job?

26 - Where do you gain access to the vein that guides the leads to my heart?

27 - When the lead is entering the chambers of the heart, how do you pass the wire through the opening and closing of the valves?

28 - If you inject a dye to locate the vein, will I glow?

29 - Do you have arthritis?

30 - Does this mean I will never die, just keeping ticking on forever?

31 - If I’m not satisfied, is there a money back guarantee?

32 - Can I have an external port?

33 - Can I down load music from my mp3 file?

34 - Will I be able to get incoming phone calls?

35 - Will I hear a beep or feel a vibration when the battery runs low?

36 – Do I get a battery charger with my pacemaker?

biventricular pacers are their own species of animal

by PreciousDays - 2007-10-25 08:10:30

Hey BilCal - welcome to the world of the biventricularites.

I have the same device, thought not the same make or model - The pacer check up tech recently explained to me - that the biventriculars are really not a pacer. - but a defibrilator - and a "cardiac resynchronization device" Yeah okay then.

I have cardiomyopathy and ventricular tachycardia (it's the VT that they wanted the defibrilator for - primarily at least) - The cardiomyopathy has caused (or been caused by? depends on whom I ask) - my heart to beat out of synch. The left side of my heart is enlarged and weakened - and I have a rapid - and due to the ventcals not compressing at the same time - ineffectual pulse.

What the biventricular device does is follow the beat of the atrium - with a wire in the ventrical that essentially tells the venticals when to compress - synchronizing (and theoretically strengthening) the beat - which will hopefully lead to a higher ejection fraction (unless of course the recalled medtonics lead fractures and fries me first) The biventricular pacers just follow the pulse rate set by the heart - and work to keep the ventricles in synch with each other. They don't - for the most part - set a pace for the heartbeat.

If my pulse goes over 188 - then and only then - will the device try to set a pace - of something lower and more stable. It isn't a very patient device though - after 10 seconds or something like that - it will zap me.

My 3 month check up is coming soon - and they are going to check my EF - A change in the EF is something I will watch for - also - as smitty suggested - see how long you can expect the battery to last (Mine is 5.8 years) - and let them know you are tired. - It could be meds (can they be taken at a different time? - or changed if that doesn't help?) If you do indeed have a device like I am describing - find out what your pulse would need to be, in order for the defibrillator to fire.

At my first check up I was neurotic about making sure the leads hadn't come loose (that was before I knew there were worse things they might do - like fracture) - an ekg can confirm if a biventicular is working - because it will show with every beat. It's strange - in that they work with every beat, yet we can be fine if they stop altogether - fine other than continuing with the heart failure and stuff.......

I hope some of this helps - finding information on the biventriculars is tough - I got lots of misinformation - and lots of kind people who simply misunderstood - before I learned what I think I know now.

Good luck-

You know you're wired when...

Like the Energizer Bunny, you keep going.

Member Quotes

99% of the time, I totally forget I even have this device.