pacemaker change

Hi

Just wondering if anyone else here is in a similar situation to me.

I was really poorly in 2002, my heart failed and i was on ICU. Dialated Cardiomyopathy was the diagnosis i was given. Leter that year i had two ablation procedures performed but to no success. I actually ended up with burns on my back - has this happened to anyone? I then had my pacemaker fitted. I work in a hospital and see my technician around quite regularly, on thw wednesday i asked when she thought i may need my pacemaker changing and she said my type of pacemaker lasts 10 - 15 years. I had my check up the day after and was told i would need it changing in the next month. Should i be worried that my pacemaker hasnt lasted as long as most?

Also, i have a huge fear of it being changed - Does anyone know exactly what they do? Im terrified :-(


5 Comments

easy!

by Tracey_E - 2008-07-27 08:07:24

Changing it out is really easy! They go in the exact same place they went in the first time, pop it out and put a new one in. A pocket is created around the unit so they just open up the pocket, they're not cutting in to any new tissue so you heal a lot faster. The leads stay so it's just the pm itself they change. I've had three now and if I can get a surgery time first thing in the morning, I'll be home fixing my own lunch. Nothing at all to be terrified about, this is much easier than what you've been through so far. Good luck!

There are a lot of reasons why a battery might not last as long as you expect. She could have just told you wrong, because 7-10 is more normal. How much you use it and where your safety margins are determines how long it lasts.

If you use it more than they anticipated, it will wear out sooner. So, if they expected you to pace 50% of the time and you are pacing 100%, it won't last as long. Also, if you use the pm inconsistently, they use larger safety margins which means the battery wears down faster.

I have an impeded lead. (THIS IS RARE! Not suggesting it's your problem, just tossing it out as an example of something that can kill a battery prematurely) Picture the refrigerator door open- it still cools but it runs up the power bill. So, my bad lead works just fine but it eats into my battery life. I'm 2 yrs into this battery and only expect to get another year out of it. I knew this when I got my last battery, btw. Because lead changes are more trouble and battery changes are so easy, I made the choice to keep the bad lead and risk a shorter battery life.

So you're not surprised like this next time, you can ask expected battery life every time you get it checked. When you're down the last 3-6 months, you can choose a convenient time to get it done instead of them telling you when to do it.

Thank you

by Freshfemale - 2008-07-27 09:07:49

Aw, thank you very much, you have put my mind at rest. i suppose with everything i went through the first time round, i just wanted to be prepared for anything that could be and could go wrong!

Its my 21st in a couple of weeks and im really hoping they let me have that first before i have to have it changed as my boyfriend has booked us a cottage for three nights in the lake district for the friday after my birthday. I want to enjoy that without being sore or worrying!

I have been trying to milk it telling my mum i wont be able to do much after having it done lol, she's having none of it!

Thanks again for your reply. Good luck with your future pacemakers! And take it easy xx

Wow

by Freshfemale - 2008-07-27 10:07:30

I dont actually have the energy to not take it easy at the min, lol, constantly tired so must say i cant wait to have the new one so hopefully i dont sleep as much as i have been doing lately lol aw and good for you NOT taking it easy. I was like that when i first had mine inplanted then jus the past couple of months ive been more tired!
When you had yours changed last, was you just in hospital as a day case and went home the same day?

Oh and i will enjoy this birthday very much, it was only six yrs ago that we didnt think id be here for my 15th and here i am planning my 21st! Its great! xx

go ahead and milk it :o)

by Tracey_E - 2008-07-27 10:07:46

Nah, I never take it easy! Where's the fun in that?!

A few weeks one way or the other shouldn't make a difference. When they say "low", they don't really mean "ready to die tomorrow".

Put it out of your mind and have a wonderful birthday! And if you have to have it done sooner, you'll still have a good time. I had my last one done on a Friday and I left on Tuesday for a few days in Key West. I stayed off the waverunners (darnit!) but other than that did everything I had already planned to do.

same day

by Tracey_E - 2008-07-27 11:07:48

I was home by noon! As soon as I could keep some juice down and go to the bathroom, they sent me home.

Every day is a gift! I'm completely dependent on my pm and would not be here without it. Got the first one at 27. I'm 41 now and have two great kids and a perfectly normal life.

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