How paranoid should I be?

I just had an ICD put in on Thursday afternoon. So far, I have had no problems with recovery. The pain was minimal, and I even went out to eat with friends Friday night. I have even been able to sleep on my right side with a pillow under my arm.

My girlfriend is very concerned about me lifting my left arm. I am trying to be careful with this, but as you know you can sometimes forget. I know all the restrictions that are issued after implantation. Has anyone had one of the leads come out after surgery? How much movement caused this to happen?




by peter - 2008-06-30 03:06:08

My leads did not move but it often happens. The leads take approvimately 6 weeks to freeze up in the veins. Movement after that is rare. My neighbour had one of his leads move. The question as to how much movement causes it to happen cannot be answered. If a film was taken of your movements when asleep you would be surprised. As you know you are not supposed to raise your arm above your shoulder but you might do it whilst asleep. I am not convinced that this is the only cause. I think some patients are just unlucky. Best to lead a sedentary life for 6 weeks. Going for a walk is no problem. Cheers peter

not sure

by CathrynB - 2008-06-30 11:06:30

I'm not sure how common it is to pull a lead, but over the 18 months I've been reading posts on this site, I've seen a handful or two of people who had it happen. Try the "search" feature (gray horizontal band in the upper right corner of the page) and you'll probably come up with prior postings on the topic. Because having a second surgery to replace a pulled electrical lead is starting all over again, it's not worth any risks. Your girlfriend is right -- don't lift your arm above your shoulder for the prescribed period. It takes a while for scar tissue to form within your heart muscle to keep those barbs/hook firmly seated in place. I slept with a sash around my waist and used a shoestring to tie my wrist to the sash because I thrash around quite a bit when asleep and woke up in the middle of the night once with my arm too high. This was more comfortable to me than the sling they gave me at the hospital. But DO move your arm a lot to prevent getting a very painful condition called "frozen shoulder" -- just not above shoulder height. You can do this!!!
Take care, CathrynB

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