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Old 06-15-2021, 11:53am   #1
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Default Looking for feedback. (Dad/pacemaker)

My dad has been suffering from extreme fatigue and is exhausted just walking across a room. His oxygen levels check out. Everything on paper, indicates he is fine...but he's not fine. Recently, they determined that a lead from his pacemaker is causing a valve to not operate correctly ...with 80% of what pumps through it, leaking back again.

Initially they were going to move the lead. Now the doctor has decided to remove the PM completely. He has never triggered the defib, and to our knowledge has had no oddities with regard to the PM and the information it sends to be monitored.

Reading about PM removal has me very concerned. It is far more dangerous than installing one. In addition, I don't see how an 83 year old suddenly doesn't need it anymore.

Anyone have any experience with removal of a pacemaker? Friends? Family?
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Old 06-15-2021, 11:56am   #2
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Sorry, no good input. Just wishing him the best and hoping someone here has some wisdom on the subject.
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Old 06-16-2021, 6:46am   #3
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I also donít see how someone that age can no longer need a device like that. A second opinion may be in order here.
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Old 06-17-2021, 11:22am   #4
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My bosses' father had one. Was in his late eighties and in failing health, physically and mentally. Many times he almost passed but somehow hung on. Something no one thought of was the pacemaker. It was the only reason he was still alive. Wouldn't let his heart stop. It was a tough decision but it had to be turned off to allow him to pass.
I agree with above. If he needed it before why would he not need it now?
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Old 06-17-2021, 12:05pm   #5
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Best of luck Jeff. Get a second opinion
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Old 06-17-2021, 12:32pm   #6
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Mom got a pacemaker along with a heart valve replacement, and was considered to be in heart failure. She improved enough that she no longer met the criteria to be considered in heart failure. Her ejection fraction had improved markedly. Anyway, as she declined cognitively, the hospice folks said the defib portion of the pacer should be turned off. The pacer was installed to begin with because Mom had a heart block, and needed to be corrected so everything pumped correctly.

I just wonder, does your dad use the pacer for anything currently, or is it just in case something goes wrong?
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Old 06-17-2021, 1:56pm   #7
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Update:

They are now leaving the PM in and replacing a lead. The lead is causing Tricuspid Regurgitation. They are blaming this for his fatigue. The part that I don't understand is how his blood oxygen levels can be good if the TR is impacting the ability to get oxygenated blood into his bloodstream.

Bill,

He has had no "events" recorded with his PM and the defib has never been called upon. I see them as a fire extinguisher...better to have and not need, than need and not have.
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Old 06-22-2021, 12:33pm   #8
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UPDATE:

Surgery scheduled for Thursday has been cancelled. I had my mom ask my dad's main heart doctor some very pointed questions. He in turn consulted one of the other doctors and the surgeon and essentially put a stop to the procedure. I am not clear on the chain of events but the surgeon's attitude was "Hey they told me take it out, so I was taking it out". This doctor knew, as I did, that this is no ordinary or benign surgery and should not be taken lightly. I'm not directly involved enough to know who is in charge of what, but the bottom line, and good news, is that he will not have a lead removed and will definitely not have his pacemaker removed.

Now we just need to find some doctor that is willing to really figure out what the cause of his crippling fatigue is.
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Old 06-22-2021, 12:52pm   #9
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