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implantable defribillator/pacemaker


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  • implantable defribillator/pacemaker

    what is the difference between these? are they implanted in the same manner?
    \"It is not length of life, but depth of life.\"

    Ralph Waldo Emerson

  • #2
    Re: implantable defribillator/pacemaker

    As far as I know the procedure is almost identical. Anyone else?


    Husband has HCM.
    3 kids - ages 23, 21, & 19. All presently clear of HCM.


    • #3
      Re: implantable defribillator/pacemaker

      The implant procedure is pretty much the same. The pacemaker is much smaller, involves different leads, and because it only senses the need for pacing and paces as needed, requires less testing to be sure it is functioning properly at time of implant. The defibrillator will require more testing to be sure it is functioning properly as it is used to sense and shock for certain arrhythmias and sense the need for pacing and pace as needed. Therefore, it needs one heavier lead to carry a greater current. If it has only a backup pacer in it, it will have one less lead than if it has a dual chambered pacemaker in it. The dual chambered pacer/defib unit will be used for someone who needs or may likely need frequent or continuous pacing. The backup pacer/defib unit will be used for someone who shows no present need for pacing and no expected need for future pacing, but could need to be paced after a shock till the heart recovers it's own natural rhythm. The pacemaker can be evaluated with a heart monitor, but the defib unit needs to be evaluated(usually within 24 hrs) to be sure it can sense the arrythmia and deliver appropriate shock (back in the cath lab with sedation). This is to be sure the leads have maintained proper position immediately post - op. Hope this helps. I'm sure others will be able to add to this. Linda


      • #4
        Re: implantable defribillator/pacemaker

        Pacers only pace - defibs now can pace and defib.

        Pacers can have one or two leads and ONLY manage the rythm of the heart.
        Todays defibs in most part have "back up pacers" and the defib is the main focus of the device - the defib will detect when you are in a dangerous rythm and offer a shock to restore normal rythm. Defibs can have one or two leads -most HCMer's today have a dual chamber pacer defib (2 leads)

        Pacers can not save your life from an arrthymia - defibs can.

        Knowledge is power ... Stay informed!
        YOU can make a difference - all you have to do is try!

        Dx age 12 current age 46 and counting!
        lost: 5 family members to HCM (SCD, Stroke, CHF)
        Others diagnosed living with HCM (or gene +) include - daughter, niece, nephew, cousin, sister and many many friends!
        Therapy - ICD (implanted 97, 01, 04 and 11, medication
        Currently not obstructed
        Complications - unnecessary pacemaker and stroke (unrelated to each other)


        • #5
          Re: implantable defribillator/pacemaker

          I have one of each. Pacer is much smaller. Defib is more like an alarm clock size. Procedure for implant was very similar with similar restrictions. Lifting arms, etc.

          Diagnosed in 1977, Myectomy in 1981 @ Mayo Rochester
          ICD&Pacemaker 1996
          Heart transplant March 19, 2004 @ Mayo Rochester
          Mom of Kaye.


          • #6
            Re: implantable defribillator/pacemaker

            I hope it's a travel alarm and not one of those Big Bens Linda


            • #7
              Re: implantable defribillator/pacemaker

              I had a pacemaker implanted in 1995 and just this January switched to an ICD/Pacemaker. I am pacemaker dependent, so I utilize the pacemaker portion at all times, and (fortunately) have not had an ICD 'treatment' (don't you love that terminology) yet.

              My pacemaker had to be replaced because they were having failures with the model I had. But since I was going to the pacer/ICD, I had to have a new ventricular lead. Dr. Saliba at Cleveland Clinic recommended that I have the old one removed, and after much consideration, that is what I decided to do.

              It was a relatively easy surgery. I was only in the hospital overnight. They used the same incision/scar from the pacemaker implant (1995) and put the new unit in the same area as the old pacemaker.

              I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that my new 'combo-pack' is actually smaller than my old pacemaker was.

              I am not sure if this is the kind of info. that you're looking for. I hope it helps. Feel free to email if I can answer any questions for you.

              Best wishes,



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