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Question:

Where can I find out more regarding a pacemaker that isn't functioning and what symptoms this could cause?

I need help. My mother needs her pacemaker replaced. Her cardiologist has scheduled the surgery for Dec. 4th. My father says he will not replace the pacemaker because my mother has just been diagnosed with dementia (keep in mind she is only 63 and still remembers who we all are, she just forgets dates and directions). Since she found out her pacemaker is not performing she cannot get out of bed, she's exhausted and depressed. My father attributes this to the dementia and completely disregards the cardiologists advice to replace the pacemaker. Where can I find legitimate research regarding a pacemaker that isn't functioning and what symptoms this will cause. I would like to show my mother so she can make her own decision, as well as my siblings.

submitted by Valerie from Utah on 11/12/2012

Answer:

Ali Massumi, MDby Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Ali Massumi, MD    

The reason for replacement is not clear from the information you provided. Many issues depend on whether a patient is dependent on the pacer or is she having a dual chamber implanted? Has the pacer reached the end of its battery and/or reverted to a backup mode? A cardiologist should thoroughly explain  the situation to your father and other family members. [For your own education, read the Heart Information Center topic on Pacemakers, referenced below].

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Updated November 2012
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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