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New ICD/Pacer after only 2 years.....


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  • New ICD/Pacer after only 2 years.....

    Wondering if anyone has had a similar experience. I had my ICD/Pacer implanted 2 yrs. ago (november) at the Mayo in Minnesota. It was the newest Medtronic GEM something.......I went for a checkup and a download today and got the shocking news that my battery life is down and the device will most likely need to be replaced in 3-4 months. I couldn't believe this. When implanted they told me 5-7 years if it never fired. It hasn't ever fired or shocked me at all. I am completely paced at about 97% of the time. The medtronic rep that downloaded my info. said I don't show any activity, such as VT or AF, but my thresholds are set very high. I think like at 2.5 and 3.5. I have no idea what all this means, but he said it takes a little bit more to make my heart beat w/ the pacer and this may be why my battery has drained so fast. The thing I find odd is that it was downloaded in May of last year and they said the battery life looked great and now 9 mos. later it's almost depleted........He said my charge time right now is 11 secs. and he likes to see it under 15 secs. So, I go back end of May and have it checked again and most likely make an appt. for a new iimplant. I'm in the shock/disappointment stage right now..........Any words of wisdom or insight to this situation would be greatly appreciated...

    Heather 32-HCM
    New Mexico
    Heather, 43, non-obstructive HCM, dx'd at age 14, AICD implanted 11-02, PVAI ablation done for a-fib and a-flutter 5-2010. 2nd PVAI done for a-flutter and a-tach 3-2014. 3rd PVAI for a-flutter June 2015, dr forgot to reset ICD settings and I went into vt and almost died, July 2015, July 2015-started tx work up, October 2015, put on list in Dallas and tx'd on November 14, 2015.

  • #2

    From what i understand with the fact that you are paced all the time like you are that is is common for your AICD battery to have to be replaced before the 7 to 10 year time frame i was paced at 100% for over a year and mine will have to be replace in a couple of years, hope this helps some and have a Guident

    Diagnosed 2003
    Myectomy 2-23-2004
    Husband: Ken
    Son: John diagnosed 2004
    Daughter: Janet (free of HCM)

    Grandchildren: Drew 15,Aaron 13,Karen 9,Connor 9


    • #3
      Hi Heather
      Shirley is right. When you are paced 100% it does take more energy from the battery.

      I too went to the Mayo Clinic/St. Mary's hospital. They do watch the life in the battery very close. There could be a chance that it will stay the same for a little while, but I know they have what is best for you in mind.
      I am 100% paced and my ICD had to be replaced 2 1/2 years after it was inplanted.

      I was a little confused too when I had to have mine replaced, but then I want that extra protection.

      Take care


      • #4
        You've been given good advice. It's like having a flashlight. If you have it ready to use, but don't actually turn it on, it will last a long time. If you use it daily it won't take nearly as long for the batteries to give out. Best of luck with the replacement.


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


        • #5

          Hi Heather - I had the same thing happen me After my first implant - it is not suppose to go that quickly - even when pacing full time. My first was set to pace full time also and it lasted about 2 years.. I never did really find out what happened - the morning of the replacement there was a medtronic's rep there and he indicated that it happens from time to time. Basically it is an electronic device which runs off a battery and electronics can fail....

          The good news is that normally the replacement is a pretty easy procedure...


          ps - I am just about the pass the 2 year mark on my current one and last checkup the battery levels were still strong....


          • #6
            My first ICD was a Guident Ventak AV - It failed me at about 3 years. My Medtronic GEM II lasted about 5 years (replaced for low battery)and now I am on the Marquis since October 2005.

            This is part of living with a device. I look forward to the day when they last for 10+ years!

            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)


            • #7
              Well that stinks, cause im paced at %100 and was looking forward to not having to have it done for a few years
              Wife to Robert
              Mom to Sara (almost 16mths)

              Hypotrophic Cardiomyopathy with ICD placement


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