Replacing pacemaker/leads for MRI

Posted by birdman518 @birdman518, Jun 20 2:21pm

Has anyone had their pacemaker and/or leads replaced for the purpose of getting one that is MRI compatible? Mine is a Boston Scientific, and I have been told by them that it is not MRI-compatible.
My battery is due to be replaced this fall, and I have been told that they will replace the entire PM… but also that it is the leads that would need to be replaced.
Of course that may be a more complicated surgery and there could (of course) be insurance coverage issues.
But I have ongoing nerve issues that apparently cannot be diagnosed without an MRI (I already have had many CT scans and a myelogram).
Any stories or recommendations greatly appreciated.
Mitch

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Mitch, I’m in a situation similar to yours but it involves a very expensive loop heart recorder implanted under my left breast. It’s manufacturer in Germany and my heart is monitored 24/7. The recorder is supposed to be MRI friendly but with special instructions for the technician to follow. So with your PM not MRI friendly, I would think they would also change the leads in the same procedure for the leads you had when they put the PM in. I’m getting 3 MRI’s tomorrow for a total of 2 1/2 procedure, yeah, I’m scared! The first MRI I had back in 2019 was a disaster, from almost having a heart attack and eventually going into convulsions. Good luck with your procedure and I hope mine goes well but I have my DNR with me at all times, just in case.

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Hi Mitch and I can share an experience I had. I used to have a Boston Scientific Pace Maker prior to my Heart Transplant. And as a last ditch effort they tried to
Find the issues with my old heart with an MRI. Lots of personal on hand for that one to ensure I didn't have an episode while the pacemaker was off. Well after about 3 hours of trying it was unsuccessful due to the scattered waves off the pacemaker . And my heart was well in need of a new Heart so they did not try to remove anything until the transplant. But I was advised just as you are that an MRi with my device was probably not going to work. I also remember during a pacemaker replacement for battery a few years before that they were happy to see that the wires were still good as that surgery is much more intense than just the pacemaker itself. So I would say at least try switching to a MRI compliment version as for the leads that is a much bigger surgery as I was told . Now also realize that medical science keeps getting better and my advice is a bit old now. This was 4.5 years ago now. Hope that helps a little.
Blessings

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Basically it seems that about 100% of spine/neurological problems need an MRI, and that is true for me. But clearly MRIs are now the go-to tool for many other diagnoses. If I cannot get this done, I am looking at 8 more years of nerve pain and disability because they cannot figure out what my problem is.
Thanks for sharing!

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@birdman518 Thought I would share some good references and related discussions: Comparison of Spinal Cord Stimulators from Boston Sci., Nevro: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/comparison-of-spinal-cord-stimulators-from-boston-sci-nevro/ ———– What's your experience: Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Simulator?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/boston-scientific-spinal-cord-simulator/

Reference info: "• Some pacemaker and defibrillator patients need to have MRI scans to diagnose their health conditions and determine proper treatment. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a diagnostic tool that uses different types of magnetics and electromagnetic fields to image soft tissue in the body. • Boston Scientific’s ImageReady MR Conditional Systems are designed, optimized, and tested for the ability to function correctly under specified conditions during an MRI scan."
Commonly Asked Questions – Boston Scientific: https://www.bostonscientific.com/content/dam/ImageReady/English/Documents/Patient%20FAQ%20CRM-362703-AB-final.pdf

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@amandaa

@birdman518 Thought I would share some good references and related discussions: Comparison of Spinal Cord Stimulators from Boston Sci., Nevro: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/comparison-of-spinal-cord-stimulators-from-boston-sci-nevro/ ———– What's your experience: Boston Scientific Spinal Cord Simulator?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/boston-scientific-spinal-cord-simulator/

Reference info: "• Some pacemaker and defibrillator patients need to have MRI scans to diagnose their health conditions and determine proper treatment. MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is a diagnostic tool that uses different types of magnetics and electromagnetic fields to image soft tissue in the body. • Boston Scientific’s ImageReady MR Conditional Systems are designed, optimized, and tested for the ability to function correctly under specified conditions during an MRI scan."
Commonly Asked Questions – Boston Scientific: https://www.bostonscientific.com/content/dam/ImageReady/English/Documents/Patient%20FAQ%20CRM-362703-AB-final.pdf

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Amanda, thanks so much. I will review this for when I do speak with my cardiologist, probably not until the fall (unless my battery stops working sooner 🙂

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