Back in 2008, I found info and advice I received here INVALUABLE as I had to make the decision about whether or not to get an ICD, after years of EF of 20-30%. I did it, and all went well with the procedure and the recovery. I have never needed it to "discharge therapy!" But, my heart has continued to enlarge a bit, and with what I have been told is changes in procedure due to more research and studies, my cardiologist recommended I meet again with an electrophysiologist to discuss adding the 3rd lead, for biventricular pacing to get my ventricles to contract simultaneously, as with my left bundle branch block, the left ventricle is a fraction of a second behind the right in this contracting process, adding to inefficiency. So, I probably said that badly, but those of you with this "life adventure" to call your own will know what I am really trying to say! It was explained to me today that it has been learned that in especially women, younger women (and she says that includes me at 63) with no major symptoms of CHF at this time and no "scarring" of heart muscle due to any MIs or anything, there is a 70% chance this could improve my EF 10% to 20%. Before they focused on this process after a patient was more symptomatic, but now they are finding doing it earlier can help to prevent those symptoms down the road, or at least sometimes. So, I guess based on that info I would go for this, but I sure would like to hear some experiences with things like: do you feel the pacing, any restrictions past the first 8 weeks that maybe have come up that you weren't told about/prepared for, any insight you can share on improvement you have noted? etc.
To make the decision harder for me, my atrial lead is "noisy" and has been so since like 2009. But, since my heart rate is fine, they have just programed around that and it has not caused a problem to date. BUT, this would also be the time to address that issue. So, then we need to consider, removing that lead or abandoning it, and adding a new one, or leaving it and see how much longer we can limp along with it. This lead removal thing increases risks. It has only been in four years and it may come out with a "gentle tug" (could I be so blessed! 50-50 chance!) It has to be removed if there is not room to just abandon it and place a new one (that would be four total in that limited real estate!) So, again, who has had lead removal? I must admit, that whole process makes we the most squimmish, but I don't think I want to just ignore the defective lead and end up going back in later?!?! Any life experiences or thoughts on any of this? I would understand if you don't want to take the time to respond. I have not had/taken time to involve myself much in discussions over the years. I do feel pretty well, now work 40+ per week, more than ever in my life, and have 3 grandkids (1,2, and 9) and their mother living with us, and life is busy and never boring! (and never quiet!) I do know that I get more tired doing the same things than I used to. I question how much of that is aging and how much is my heart, but I did feel better when each echo showed a tiny improvement in my EF and now it did not, although it did not get worse either, but the heart size numbers are creeping up there. So, gotta run. Have two picnics at my home in the next week to prepare for, and I am just leaving work as had to do some catch up after my appt. I trust someone out there will be gracious enough to share some experiences and/or bring up some questions I should be asking these doctors that I may not have thought of. Again, thank you for how much you helped me 4 years ago, and blessings to all of you who take the time to share and help anyone and everyone that tries to find help and info on this site.