An ICD Crossroads
In 2000, at the age of 34, my doctor here in L.A. noticed a strange heart rhythm. After many tests, a cardiologist suggested that I MIGHT have something called Brugada syndrome, a sudden death disease, even though I was asymptomatic. The abnormal rhythm was caused by a drug I was taking at the time, but the culmination of these factors led them to suggest an ICD implant, which I had. In 2007, I had the unit replaced and over the years, both devices never delivered any therapy whatsoever.
A week ago, I got a call from the Pacemaker lab saying that one of my leads is showing an unusual resistance trend and I would need to come in and probably have it changed (removed and replaced).
I find myself at a crossroads now. In good health, with no indications of disease or the original evidence that led them to implant the device, should I ask that everything be taken out or just replace the lead?
What are the risks and statistics of lead removal? Is it compounded if you remove both and the device as well?
Can you leave the leads in with no issue and just take out the device?
Am I better off getting the lead replaces and continuing on the every 7 years or less changing of the device, etc.
Obviously, I will be talking to doctors and getting more information about all this, but I was wondering about anyone else's experiences or thoughts that may help me at this stressful and confusing junction.
You know you're wired when...
You fondly named your implanted buddy.
My eight year old son had a pacemaker since he was 6 months old. He does very well, plays soccer, baseball, and rides his bike. I am so glad he is not ashamed of his pacemaker. He will proudly show his "battery" to anyone.