Post op


Ive just jouned this group. I am having a 2 lead ( i think) PM fitted on 7th March, folliwed by an ablation a month or so after. 

I work as a carer in thw community, no heavy lifting, just assisting with personal care, light housework and companionship. 

My 3 questions are please, 

What to expect post op? 

How long would you recomnend i stay off work for based on your own pist op experience? 

I ride a scooter ( moped) , i know i cant drive a car for a week, but what about riding the bike? Does anyone know? 

Thank you



Post Op

by Penguin - 2023-02-28 06:05:09

Hi Vicky, 

I can't comment on the ablation procedure as I've not had one so hold on here for advice re: that aspect of your aftercare and driving advice.

Re: what to expect afterwards - It is usual to have the implant done under local anaesthetic with medication to calm / sedate you. This sounds worse than it is. You feel nothing and are quite heavily sedated. You can usually leave hospital on the same day. 

There will be a wound and some swelling at the implant site. The swelling is a little alarming initially but it goes down. You will be provided with wound care advice and advice re: showering, lifting your arm above the wound site initially and keeping your shoulder moving. The latter is important so that you don't get frozen shoulder. 

My aftercare / wound care was dealt with by my GP / nurse and I was called in for the removal of any sutures. You may be told to make this appointment. 

You will also have a pacing check at the pacemaker clinic where they will check the device, wound and answer any questions regarding symptoms. 

You will be able to move around the house and do light activities immediately but it's wise to take it easy for a few days - weeks depending on how you feel. The implant procedure might cause arrhythmia if you have any present (reason for ablation?) so be prepared for that.

Re: when to return to work - Caring is relatively physical and the emphasis is on someone else rather than you.  See how this sits with you as you may want to look after number one and attend to your own needs before going back to work. 

Re: Scooter -  Check with the DVLA and make sure that you report your pacemaker and any relevant conditions.  You are having an ablation as well as a PM implant. I don't know how how each of these might affect scooter use. 

Let us know how you get on and hang on here for any more responses on the Q's I've not answered fully. 

Best Wishes 


Post Op

by Fable - 2023-02-28 09:42:25

I am two weeks out from my PM surgery and am just getting it together.  The first week I was weak. I was told not to use my left arm to push or pull anything for 8 weeks as I could pull the leads out of place.   I do use my arm so as not to freeze up my shoulder but I am so careful. 

The best advice I got was don't get discouraged. Give it time. This group has helped me so much. I don't understand everything and have to look up all the abbreviations they use. Haha


by Tracey_E - 2023-02-28 09:57:13

I would take 2 weeks off. Most of us feel mostly ourselves by the end of the first week but if you are moving around a lot you might want that extra week. You may need to modify what you do for another 2-4 weeks after that.

The scooter is probably not a good idea the first few weeks. The vibrations are not going to feel good until you are well healed and steering may push the limits of what you should be doing with your arms.

The rules usually are 4-6 weeks no lifting over 10-20 lbs (most are told 10, I was told 20), no raising the elbow above shoulder level. Other than that it's important to use the arm normally so the shoulder doesn't freeze. 

An aside, more doctors are not giving the 4-6 week restrictions. They did a study and patients with no restrictions had the same incidence of leads getting dislodged as the patients with the traditional restrictions. My ep dropped it to 2 weeks when I had my last replacement, however he said stay out of the pool and ocean for 4 weeks due to infection risk. If leads stay in place the first 24-48 hours, odds of them moving after that are low, and if they do dislodge it's not usually from anything we did.

What to expect

by AgentX86 - 2023-02-28 15:06:56

For nine out of ten people post-op goes smootly, some more than others, of course.  Serious complications are exceedingly rare but you do have to follow instructions to the letter.  Infection is the major risk and, not to alarm you, is deadly serious.  Follow the instructions re: wound care and you'll be fine. 

I'm not so sure about getting back to work immediately.  It sounds like you have a strenuous job.  "Personal care" can mean a lot of things but think about infection. If there is any chance of opening the wound or being in unsanitary positions, give it a hard pass.

I was back to work the next day but I worked in front of a computer all day.  If they'd broken all my fingers, perhaps I'd have some trouble.

I'm not sure what sort of ablation you're having but since it's a week after the PM implant, I assume that it's an AV ablation.  I had one at the same time as they implanted my PM.  The recovery isn't much different with the exception of the leg wound, which is no big deal. You will have to lie on your back for a few hours until the femoral vein seals off enough that there isn't a risk that it'll rip open. You'll have to baby that for a few days too. I had zero troubles (I've had it done many times). The worst part, by far, was laying on my back.  During the procedure they pumped me full of IV fluid then left me there for hours.  I don't know which hurt more, my back or my bladder.

Don't over-think this.  As surgeries go, I'd put it the scale well below a tooth extraction.

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