Two cases of subclavian vein stenosis secondary to permanent cardiac pacemakers are presented. Both stenoses were asymptomatic until arteriovenous fistulae/grafts were constructed in order to initiate haemodialysis. One patient experienced severe oedema of the arm which necessitated surgical closure of the graft. A literature review into major venous stenosis and cardiac pacemakers reveals an asymptomatic, but evidently underestimated, problem. As more elderly patients will be accepted onto haemodialysis programmes, this above-mentioned problem may become more common. Therapeutic answers as to haemodialysis access are discussed in these patients with permanent pacemakers who need haemodialysis.