Nerve Conduction Test

The hand surgeon for my severe carpal tunnel syndrome is insisting he does this admittedly horribly painful on pacemaker patients with no problem. But Medtronic told both me and the tech who also called that they would prefer I not do it, or if unavoidable, have a pacemaker tech with me! (I'm completely pacemaker-dependent; have had a pacer for 20 years -this is my third; am 76.) I'm also fearful because once during a pacer check, the tech hit the wrong line on the screen and I began to lose consciousness instantly.
Please help, anyone who has experience with this situation; I'd be grateful for your input in any direction.


4 Comments

Effect on pacer

by ElectricFrank - 2008-04-27 01:04:06

Did anyone say what it is that could affect the pacemaker. Simply having surgery on a wrist or hand while painful shouldn't bother the pacer. Since the Medtronic rep is concerned (and I trust him) they must either use MRI or some sort of electrical surgical machine that could cause problems.
I've had the experience of having my heart stop during a checkup only I expected it. I wanted to know how dependent I had become so the Medtronic rep agreed to stop pacing long enough to see what my heart would do. Unfortunately, not much. The sparkles come on pretty fast, but as soon as he let go of the key that stopped the pacing I was fine. I wouldn't want to be standing up during the experience though.

frank

Carpel Tunnel

by Blueaustralia - 2008-04-27 02:04:24

Are you talking about the nerve conduc tion tests carried out before surgery. I have carpel tunnel and have never had anyone mention that these tests were dangerous. I now wonder Billie

Conduction test

by maryanne - 2008-04-27 08:04:43

I am very crurious as to why Medtronic would not want you to have the test done...if it is the test that Billie mentioned I too have had that test just recently and had no problems...it was actually rather cool....now you have piqued my curiousity I will have to contact Medtronic to see why they say this....hmmm

Nerve Conduction test.

by Stepford_Wife - 2008-04-27 09:04:53

Hi Hilary.

I have just had the test done Friday, and it didn't bother my pacer at all. I need the surgery also, my carpal tunnel is severe, and has to be treated.
Like you, I'm 100% dependent, and I had the same thing happen to me during a pacer check.
During the nerve conduction test, you will have an electrode placed on the back of your hand. From there, measurements will be taken from different angles of your hands, and forearms, and marked.
Then small electrodes will be taped on the marks, and the other ends hooked to a machine, which is connected to a computer.
The doctor will have a two pronged probe, on which gel will be applied, for conduction, and he/she will press the probe on different parts of your hands and forearms, and you will feel electrical pulses going through your hands. The computer will register how well and how fast the nerves can send electrical signals.
There is no chance of problems with nerve conduction studies. The voltage of electrical pulses isn't high enough to cause a problem.
There is another test, called EMG, Electromyogram. For this one, you need to inform your doctor that you have a pacemaker, as problems could arise after the test. Also this test necessitates inserting a needle into the skin.
Don't worry, you'll be just fine. It is practically painless, it just feels strange, but once you relax, it's nothing.
I hope I was able to help you a little.
Take care, and good luck. Keep us informed on how you did.

~ Dominique ~

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