ZocdocAnswersMy friend is having wires re-attached to her pacemaker but she is 10 weeks pregnant. Is this something to worry?

Question

My friend is having wires re-attached to her pacemaker but she is 10 weeks pregnant. Is this something to worry?

She woz born wiv conjenital heart block and woz supposed to be avin a heart transplant last month but at her pre opp apointment the docs decided her body wud b to weak to go thru wiv the operation which is why they decided not to do it so now she got to stay wiv the pacemaker and av the wires re attached as they av came loose due to an infection round her heart and round the pace maker

Answer

I am sorry to hear about your friend's illness. This is an extremely complex situation that requires input from infectious disease, heart transplant, and electrophysiology (heart rhythm) specialists. If your friend is not already in the hospital, she will need to arrange appointments with these specialists to determine the best way to move forward. In congenital heart block, the heart's normal electrical conduction system is interrupted. This often occurs to babies born of mothers with lupus. Many of these individuals require pacemakers. Pacemakers can become infected because our natural skin barrier must be disrupted for the procedure. Once any portion of a pacemaker is infected, it is very difficult to clear the infection. In many cases, antibiotics are not sufficiency, and the entire pacemaker device (wires included) must be removed. It is important your friend discusses this possibility with an electrophysiologist and/or infectious disease expert. Simply reattaching the leads is not typically an option. I cannot tell from your question why your friend requires a heart transplant. An infection leading up to a transplant is a serious issue, and she will not be a candidate for transplant with an active infection. Therefore, it is crucial she discuss these medical issues with heart transplant, electrophysiology, and infectious disease experts.

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