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ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

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Sam Prater Find out more about Sam Prater
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  • ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

    Hi Folks,

    It's been years since I've posted in the HCMA Forums. I've missed it. I just spent that last 90 minutes reading through the various topics. I really love the community here at HCMA.

    On March 27th, I am headed in to the Electrophysiologist to have an ICD implanted. I have a very large family (6 full brothers & 7 full sisters from the same two parents) and we lost our mother to HCM in 1991 and she was only 45. We just buried our father 2 weeks ago (Complications from Dementia). Needless to say, the whole family is sort of in a panic over this surgical procedure. I am trying to allay their concerns and stay calm, but I'm actually pretty anxious.

    My cardiologist ordered a genetic test and it positively identified the gene mutation that caused my HCM, as well my recent stress-echo that showed the my pressure gradient upwards of 100mmHg. The stress-echo also showed that with only a brisk walk on an incline had my heart rate at 193bpm and that my blood pressure pretty much didn't change at all before, during, and after exertion. My blood pressure being non-responsive to exercise was apparently cause for concern. So they've decided that I have an ICD implanted because of my mom's sudden death, the genetic testing results, and the high pressure gradient, in addition to my blood pressure's unresponsiveness to exercise.

    I'm nervous about the way this is going to change my life. I'm 31 years old and I get depressed thinking about having to have this device replaced repeatedly, having to have even more invasive procedures as I age...and so on.

    I could really use some encouragement, insight, advice.

    Thanks a million!

  • #2
    Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

    Sam:

    I've had an ICD/Pacer for about 15 months now. Surgery is no big deal at all nor is recovery. From what I am reading we won't go through a life time of changing every 7 years or whatever the number is. Better batteries and now one htat recharges from the energy in your body or maybe like those watches that wind via the motion of walking are in the future and you know how fast technology happens now-a-days.

    Anyway it is comforting to know it is there when you most need it. Although my defibulator has never needed to go off I have read those on this site where it did and their doctors told them they'd probably be dead without the implant. Pretty easy to look at the positive side or AICD's readiong those stories.

    Anyway, best of luck on your upcoming procedure and I hope you nver use it (batteries last longer that way too)

    Toodle pip... Moosedreams
    Diagnosed HCM Nov 2009
    100 mg Atenolol; Baby asprin
    First Trip to CCF June 2010
    HCM Specialist at CCF... Dr. Harry Lever
    Septal Myectomy at CCF... August 9th 2010: Dr. Nicholas Smidera
    AICD w/pacer at CCF... December 20th 2010

    Once you choose hope, anything's possible. ~ Christopher Reeve

    Since we can not run in the park, we can be the ones to take a stroll, look around and enjoy the simple things in life. ~ Rosemaire1125

    www.TheRhubarbChronicles.com

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    • #3
      Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

      The operation its self is nothing to worry about. I was home the same day. Haveing a sandwich for lunch. Just don't put your arms over your head for the period the dr suggests. Don't worry you'll be fine.

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      • #4
        Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

        I have had my ICD for almost three years. The surgery was a breeze, I was home the next day with very little pain. I wore my arm in a sling for two days so that it would stay immobile, no lifting for two weeks with my left arm...that was about it. My device has fired three times, twice because of irregular heart rhytums, but once, the day before Christmas in 2010 due to SCA. I have actually given my device a name, Barachiel, my guardian angel, as it truly did save my life. I just turned 60 and it has had very little impact on my life style. It has given me a sense of security. I still walk as much as possible, play with my grandchild, drive, fly, work fulltime at a desk job, etc. I was just in yesterday for a device check and I still have at least seven more years of battery life, so your concern about frequent changes is no longer a factor. Even when the device discharged, it was not even horribly unbearable.

        Try to relax, ask as many questions as you need so that you understand the procedure, how the device works and the benefits it will afford give you. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

        Best of luck!
        Last edited by bkitchens; 03-22-2012, 01:47 PM. Reason: spelling

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        • #5
          Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

          best thing to have mine is 2 years old and at ease knowing i have a backup if no one is around good luck and dont worry

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          • #6
            Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

            Sam, I had my ICD put in in 2007, and as you can read in my recent post it has saved me twice. The surgery is not bad at all. I was out of the hospital the next day. It took a little while before I could sleep comfortably. They said that my body had to form a pocket for the ICD. After a a few months the scar fades, and you really don't think about having and ICD at all. I am glad that I didn't put off having my ICD implanted.
            diagnosed at 17
            brother diagnosed at 21
            father died of HCM at 29
            several aunts, uncle & a cousin died of HCM in their teens to thirties
            ICD implanted 9/2007
            ICD saved me 11/2008
            ICD saved me 3/2012

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            • #7
              Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

              I've had my ICD since 2008 and they said I have about 7 more years of juice left on it. That's 11 years out of one battery.

              I had no symptoms and a small septal measurement of 1.3 but got the ICD due to family history of cardiac arrest. One year after I had it implanted I had v-fib and it paced me out of it before it had to shock me. I will never regret getting it, ever. I'm here to continue raising my boys and that is a blessing. The surgery for me was no big deal. Recovery was fine- just couldn't raise my arm above my shoulder for a month and wasn't supposed to drive either. Otherwise, it was really uneventful and easy. Good luck!

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              • #8
                Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

                Sam - Sorry for the losses in your family, but you can let your family know you won't be joining Mom & Dad anytime soon. As Moosedreams mentioned, Technology is improving at a fantastic rate - You may only need a generator replacement twice in your life! (and this is much easier done!)
                Marc
                Diagnosed @ 48
                Saw Dr. Michael Debakey @ age 5 - "He's fine, just a little noisy"
                Father to 3 boys 22, 25, 29 (all currently clear - pending genetics)
                AICD - Valentines Day '08, Spark Plug replaced 11/14
                After much research, I had a Myectomy @ Mayo for my 50th Birthday '08
                Quietly going insane . . .

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                • #9
                  Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

                  Thanks for all the advice folks. I really appreciate it. I had my ICD implanted yesterday and came home today. Everything went off without a hitch. I am so grateful. The only thing that is bothering me is this perpetual headache that won't seem to go away, even with Tylenol. Should I be worried about this??

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                  • #10
                    Re: ICD Implant Surgery NEXT WEEK!!! Sort of anxious & scared...

                    Give it a day or two. The anesthesia can sometimes cause you to feel bad for a day or two.
                    Daughter of Father with HCM
                    Diagnosed with HCM 1999.
                    Full term pregnancy - Son born 11/01
                    ICD implanted 2/03; generator replaced 2/2005 and 2/2012
                    Myectomy 8/11/06 - Joe Dearani - Mayo Clinic.

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