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Time for a New Pacemaker.
Old 08-13-2019, 08:43 AM   #1
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Time for a New Pacemaker.

My old Pacemaker, (St. Jude's) is "finally" reaching it's Due By Date and up for replacement. It has lasted from 2006 - Now, that is an amazing 13 years of basically trouble free service (After stabilization programming was completed in 2007). As I am 100% Paced on my Ventricle, because of 3rd Degree Heart Block, that is not bad at all.

After a routine check on Friday 8-9-2019 found it to be getting to the end of it's life, it has already been scheduled for 8-15-2019 this week with a pre-op tomorrow.

That is not bad service at all. Hopefully all will go as planned (Well), and I will be alive an kicking on Friday 8-16-2019. It is scheduled as an Outpatient surgery.

Anyone else here had this procedure, replacement that is as opposed to initial insertion?
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:16 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
My old Pacemaker, (St. Jude's) is "finally" reaching it's Due By Date and up for replacement. It has lasted from 2006 - Now, that is an amazing 13 years of basically trouble free service (After stabilization programming was completed in 2007). As I am 100% Paced on my Ventricle, because of 3rd Degree Heart Block, that is not bad at all.

After a routine check on Friday 8-9-2019 found it to be getting to the end of it's life, it has already been scheduled for 8-15-2019 this week with a pre-op tomorrow.

That is not bad service at all. Hopefully all will go as planned (Well), and I will be alive an kicking on Friday 8-16-2019. It is scheduled as an Outpatient surgery.

Anyone else here had this procedure, replacement that is as opposed to initial insertion?
That is a good run, when my DH got his 6 years ago, they said probably 6 to 8 years of battery life..He still had around 90% on his.

You biggest surprise will be how much smaller the replacement unit is. Keep us updated, I'm interested in your experience.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:24 AM   #3
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That is a good run, when my DH got his 6 years ago, they said probably 6 to 8 years of battery life..He still had around 90% on his.

You biggest surprise will be how much smaller the replacement unit is. Keep us updated, I'm interested in your experience.
Thanks, I can say that when it was installed, I had a choice of a more bulky unit with a larger battery than normal vs a standard unit. I chose the larger one. The difference was 1.5mm thicker, it is visible but not that anyone other than the owner would notice. I am not sure I will get a choice this time. I will ask for my old one back as a souvenir though, hopefully they will give it to me.
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:37 AM   #4
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Just had mine swapped out in January. Easy peasy, unplug cables and re-plug into new unit. Asked the surgeon to adjust the location a bit as I bumped it with the soap bar when washing my armpit. He said that mightn't happen, but was able to do so. Mine was a Medtronics, new thinner unit is Boston Scientific. Was kind of sad the new unit didn't have Sirius capability or serve as a hot spot or enhance my on-board memory.

My unit replacement stretched out long enough that I had ten seconds of audible "European police siren" coming from my chest around 9AM for several weeks. Fun!

edit - recalled name of ICD
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Old 08-13-2019, 09:51 AM   #5
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Just had mine swapped out in January. Easy peasy, unplug cables and re-plug into new unit. Asked the surgeon to adjust the location a bit as I bumped it with the soap bar when washing my armpit. He said that mightn't happen, but was able to do so. Mine was a Medtronics, new thinner unit is something else. Was kind of sad the new unit didn't have Sirius capability or serve as a hot spot or enhance my on-board memory.

My unit replacement stretched out long enough that I had ten seconds of audible "European police siren" coming from my chest around 9AM for several weeks. Fun!
That's a fun one, hearing those sirens. DH had that happen after his open heart surgery. Of course they it off during the op and when we got home the remote unit picked up the "disturbance" in his heart rate. Turned out they needed to reset the device at the hospital and neglected to do so. They wanted me to drive him for an almost 4 hour round trip so they could fix it. I wasn't too obliging about that as he was weak as a kitten and convinced them to do it at the local clinic 15 minutes from our place. Medtronic sent down a tech with a reset machine. Sometimes I can be ornery..
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:42 AM   #6
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Not personal experience, but MIL needed hers replaced after ~ 2 or 3 years, they said her condition changed and she needed one with more channels/sensors (maybe not the correct terms, something like that).

Even though she was in a pretty fragile state at the time, she really had no problem at all with the replacement. They kept her overnight due to her age and fragility, but I would think most people would do it as outpatient with no problem at all.

Certainly is a walk in the park compared to open heart surgery!

I'm sure yours will be smooth, and I imagine they are much smaller compared to one from 13 years ago, even with a more robust battery. This is amazing technology!

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:58 AM   #7
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At 52 years old I got my new Medtronics defib/pacer in Nov 2017 from elevating CHF which was brought on by a past chemo drug Adriamycin. They have had to reprogram it to keep up with more active lifestyle, but it really seems to help. I'm just hoping not to feel the "jolt", or have to replace it in another 10 years.

Good luck in your upcoming procedure !
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Old 08-13-2019, 10:52 PM   #8
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My wife had a pacemaker implanted last year at age 49, one of the Boston Scientific models about the size of half of an Oreo cookie. The doc told us it would last about 7-10 years before the battery would need to be replaced. At the last checkup the technician told us it was being used about 6% of the time and the battery still had 15 years remaining. I'm sure that will change depending on usage, but I was surprised how long it was supposed to last.
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:23 AM   #9
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My wife had a pacemaker implanted last year at age 49, one of the Boston Scientific models about the size of half of an Oreo cookie. The doc told us it would last about 7-10 years before the battery would need to be replaced. At the last checkup the technician told us it was being used about 6% of the time and the battery still had 15 years remaining. I'm sure that will change depending on usage, but I was surprised how long it was supposed to last.
Yes, mine started life like that, I think mine was 10% at the time. Mine is adaptive and implanted in both the Atrium and the Ventricle as most are. Now I am 100% paced on the Ventricle and it takes it's Que from the Atrium that is working fine. So I guess it is working 50% now.

One thing I will ask is if they can move it 1" to the right as I sleep on it most nights.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:05 AM   #10
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No experience with pacemakers, I just wanted to wish you all the best. Hope the op goes well.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #11
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No experience with pacemakers, I just wanted to wish you all the best. Hope the op goes well.
Thanks Alan, I appreciate that. I am sure all will be good.
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Old 08-16-2019, 05:10 AM   #12
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Seems all went OK so far, came home last night. site is sore as expected, old leads were left in. I even got a little souvenir out of the ordeal, see pics..... Thanks to those who expressed best wishes.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:13 AM   #13
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Ah man! What a fun souvenir! Good for you having the presence of mind to ask for the takeout unit.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:47 AM   #14
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Glad to hear all went well, SWR!

And what a great "show and tell" souvenir!

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Old 08-22-2019, 01:13 PM   #15
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Update!

Surgery went OK, just a local numbing, BP was really high but it is back to normal now. They did not use any stitches , just strips of tape. The main bandage came off yesterday. They said leave the strips till they fall off naturally, no worry about getting them we. It is still a little sore and cannot lift too much yet.

Need to get it checked in about 4 - 6 weeks. No more follow up surgical appointments.

What really impressed me was, diagnosed on Friday, Pre-Op the following Wednesday, Surgery on Thursday, home Thursday evening, Site check the following week, all done! All within literally 3 miles of our home.
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:56 PM   #16
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Excellent. Good to hear that all went well.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:11 PM   #17
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Nice to hear Shokwave.
Some of the advantages of having great medical care in FLA.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:22 PM   #18
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Nice to hear Shokwave.
Some of the advantages of having great medical care in FLA.
Yup, it even surprised me how efficient and professional they all were, especially the nice young ladies that looked after me pre and post surgery. They let DW stay with me all the time, except from when I was actually in the cath lab, but seated her comfortably with a nice snack right out side.

This surgeon did make a larger incision that my last one though, about 2 x the length and across instead of vertical. New PM is half the size too. I am sure he had his reasons, and I am not about to second guess him.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:27 PM   #19
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OP -- how many leads do you have... are both ventricles triggered by by a single lead? I have a dual lead (on in the atria and one ventricle (other one is parasitically coupled. I assume you have Paroxysmal AV block.

I expect mine will be changed next year. The one they installed in me allows for MRI testing. Most at the time I got mine did not.
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Old 08-22-2019, 04:02 PM   #20
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OP -- how many leads do you have... are both ventricles triggered by by a single lead? I have a dual lead (on in the atria and one ventricle (other one is parasitically coupled. I assume you have Paroxysmal AV block.

I expect mine will be changed next year. The one they installed in me allows for MRI testing. Most at the time I got mine did not.
Yes, dual Lead, one in the Atrium to detect the pulses, then transmit them to the Ventricle. Yes, Third Degree Heart Block, complete breakdown of the AV node one Sunday morning .

First one lasted 13 years, St. Judes XL, there is a Pic I uploaded somewhere in this thread.

This one is MRI compatible PM2272, but the leads "May" not be as they are the originals. I called Abbot Labs and they said "currently" they have not been certified in the USA but may be in the future. Cardiologist says they are "probably" OK. Honestly, I prefer CT scans for the rare times I get them, they take so much less time.
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