time for replacement concerns

I am 53 years old. My first pacemaker was implanted when I was 36. This pacemaker worked well for 4 years until the leads were recalled.
I then got a new pacemaker and leads. I was pretty heavily sedated because I was a total wreck of nerves. This pacemaker has given me almost 13 years.
I now need to have a replacement in the next month or two.
Can anyone tell me how difficult this procedure is?
Should I be able to resume my teaching within a week?
Thank you,
Searching Woman


PM replacement surgery

by CathrynB - 2007-08-16 03:08:19

Hi searchingwoman:
I'm not the best person to respond to your question because I got my first pacemaker in January, however, I have recent experience that may be similar to what you're about to go through. Are you also having your electrical leads replaced, or just the pacemaker? If just the pacemaker, then I predict you'll come through this with flying colors and be amazed how much easier it was than your first two surgeries.
My pacemaker was implanted in a location that didn't work well for me, and six months after it was implanted, I had it surgically relocated to a different spot on my chest. So it was similar to PM replacement surgery without electrical lead replacement. The second surgery I was only in the hospital 3 hours, was awake throughout the surgery (chatting with my surgeon about her upcoming trip to Kenya) and was only in the recovery room for 20 minutes. I took narcotic painkillers for one day, Tylenol for 2 days, then nothing. It's now one month post op, and I'm completely pain-free and back to all my usual activities. I took it easy for a week or two, but depending on the demands of your teaching job, and your doctor's post op instructions, I can imagine you might be back at work after a week. By the way, I'm 50, so about your same age. There's a wonderful woman who posts on here periodically who had PM replacement surgery recently and threw a dinner party 3-4 nights later -- I hope she'll respond to your question (and she's older than you and I).
Please let us know when your surgery is scheduled so folks here can have you in their thoughts and prayers that day, and let us know how it went. Of course it's different for each person, depending on your medical condition and other matters, but I bet things will go smoothly! Take care, Cathryn

Hi SearchingWoman,

by Gellia2 - 2007-08-16 11:08:20

I just recently had my 7th replacement. It is not nearly as difficult as the first time. Mine went like this:
I had to be at the hospital by 7a.m. Surgery was at 9a.m.
They took me in, gave me a short acting sedative (because I'm a weinie and like to be knocked out - many just use novocaine) and I was finished by 10:30a.m. Mine took a little longer than normal because I had to have 25 year old wires checked. Discharged at 1p.m. and home I went. My shoulder was a bit sore for a few days. But, I didn't even need any pain killers at all. For me, each replacement (as I said..this was number 7) has been easy. No over nights in the hospital, and about a week to feeling really tip top again.
I do hope yours goes as well. Your dr will let you know when to drive again but because they do not replace the wires, you don't have to worry about pulling them out. I was ready to "rumble" by nightfall!
Best to you!
P.S. I'm nearly 59 and have had a pacer for 32 years now.


by randrews - 2007-08-16 11:08:53

I don't really have anything to add since I've only had my pm for a few months. But I am a teacher (counselor) and want to wish you the best with the replacement. Stay in touch with the people here, they are really encouraging.
Take care of yourself so you can take care of your kids.

Hi Searching Woman

by bjmcpherren - 2007-09-08 03:09:00

If you're just having a pacer replacement and no new leads it should be a breeze. I am 47, I have my first pacer implanted when I was 18. I am on my fourth. My pacer has 2 leads and I am totally dependent on it. 11 days ago I had one of my leads which was 30 years old replaced. I am having a really hard time recovering, having numerous problems. Anyway, the pacer I have is only about 4 years old, at that time I did not need any lead replacements. It went quickly, no over night stay, within a week I was back to work and doing light exercises. So no worries. It's the lead replacement surgery where you will run into problems. Take care.

Have a Great Outcome

by Terry - 2007-12-28 01:12:41

Ask your Dr. if you can be evaluated for His bundle pacing this time. Using the heart's own conduction system, the literature suggests, can prevent heart failure and stroke. If he has questions, have him/her check out the DAVID Study or the MOST Trial, as published by Dr. Sweeney.

You know you're wired when...

Your license plate reads “Pacer4Life”.

Member Quotes

I just had this miracle implanted two weeks ago and I’m feeling better.