Pacemaker replacement with mechanical valve

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LondonAndy

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Just a quick report of a procedure I had done on Monday, in case of interest to those few of us who got a pacemaker as a bonus with our mechanical valves.

In 2014 my aortic valve was replaced with a mechanical, but there was a surgical complication and I needed a pacemaker too. It's never been an issue for me, and I have hardly thought about the device other than at the annual check-ups.

Roll on 8 years of being 100% paced, and the device was getting low on battery. The frequency of my check-ups increased, and then I got the call to have it done. A pre-op assessment a week before told me to stop taking Aspirin 5 days before the operation, but much to my surprise to maintain my Warfarin dose, keeping my INR at between 2.5 and 3. (Normal therapeutic range is 2.5 to 3.5). Apparently this is to help reduce the risk of a blood clot leading to an infection where they cut into the body. So on Monday, after a few tests the old box was removed under local anaesthetic, and a new one (same functionality and settings) inserted. No need to change the leads as they can last up to 30 years. I was discharged the same day, and have had no pain at any point - amazing! The dressing comes off at the end of tomorrow, Saturday, so I will then see how neat a job they did of the sutures ... or not!

It is a weird experience having an op under local only anaesthetic - you are fully awake throughout, knowing that they are cutting you open and having a rummage around inside but not feeling a thing other than a bit of pushing to get the new device back in.
 

pellicle

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A pre-op assessment a week before told me to stop taking Aspirin 5 days before the operation, but much to my surprise to maintain my Warfarin dose, keeping my INR at between 2.5 and 3. (Normal therapeutic range is 2.5 to 3.5). Apparently this is to help reduce the risk of a blood clot leading to an infection where they cut into the body
Quite interesting
 

ValveAdmin

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It is a weird experience having an op under local only anaesthetic - you are fully awake throughout, knowing that they are cutting you open and having a rummage around inside but not feeling a thing other than a bit of pushing to get the new device back in.
That's certainly good news!
 
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