Wrangling the Pacemaker


We have been closely watching a spot just under V’s rib cage where the edge of the pacemaker could be felt for about two weeks now. It began to bruise last week and started becoming more prominent as we neared the weekend. Over the weekend it became more discolored and the edge of the pacemaker could clearly be made out. By Monday morning, a small area of skin had become so thin it had started to weep clear fluid.

The doctor had us come in and he referred us immediately to a surgeon. The pacemaker had become unseated and moved outside of the pocket created for it during the last surgery. It had started to work its way through her chest from the inside out. This is exceedingly rare but slightly more common when the pacemaker recipient is a very tiny infant. The doctors are very disappointed. They both told us we were just incredibly unlucky on this one. She was admitted yesterday and started on antibiotics.

She underwent surgery this afternoon to reseat it in a sturdier area. They cultured the area to make sure that infection has not set in. It is looking promising but they are keeping an eye on it. They are also concerned about the skin at the bottom of the incision being able to hold together. It is thin and may not hold the stitch.

If the cultures develop bacteria or the incision comes open, she will have a rough road ahead. They will need to remove the compromised pacemaker and lead, insert a temporary lead hooked to an external pacemaker for about a month. Once she is bacteria and infection free they will place another internal pacemaker and lead. We are hoping this scenario does not play out.

She will probably be here all week, best case .

Currently she is doing well. She is eating, alert and mostly comfortable. She is a trooper.

Please keep V in your thoughts.

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