Pacemaker

Hi I have had a pacemaker inserted on weds for complete heart block. I am just wondering about how careful everyone was able to be post op. I am not to lift my arm for 2 months, to lift anything heavy or lie on that side (to ensure the leads have chance to bed in) however I am only 46 with two young children. I am managing in the day to be sensible but I am worried as I woke up in the night led on my L side and with my arm over my head!! I can't afford (physically and emotionally) to have this done all over again if the leads aren't in the right place. Will I feel different if they have shifted? Thanks in advance 


7 Comments

Yeah, seem excessive.

by AgentX86 - 2019-05-18 21:32:44

However, please follow your doctor's orders.  Clarify them, if need be, but he's the boss.  We don't know your history or why he is being so conservative.

To answer your question, I was told no gym for a month but that I could exercise otherwise (I walk  a lot).  The idea is that they don't want the arm jerked or hyperextended for a month.  I was also restricted to lifting no more than 10lbs, and moving my left hand forward, higher than my shoulder, or behind my back for the month. I got a sling that I used when taking my walks, because the motion made my shoulder hurt but I didn't wear it otherwise.  You need to move but not suddenly or in extreme motions.  I slept in a recliner for two months because I'm a stomach sleeper sleping on the PM was painful.  BY sleeping in a recliner, I didn't have any "need" to roll over at all.

Not Worth the Chance

by Swangirl - 2019-05-18 22:00:59

My Doctor said not to raise my arm on the affected side for six weeks.  This is a very critical period where the leads are making a tight bond in your heart muscle.  Broken or misplaced leads is a hugh deal, not worth chancing it.  It will require more surgery and more damage to your heart muscle.  Six weeks is a standard amount of time.  You can do a lot with that arm just not overhead.  Be sensible.  Get help when necessary.  This is an important time for healing.  Don't screw it up.  

6 Weeks Here

by Shana - 2019-05-19 00:51:36

Hi,

I’m 49 with complete block too. My team recommended 6 weeks. 

Although, between 4-6 weeks I wasn’t perfect. Mainly because the incision had healed and was pain free. I kept forgetting about the restriction. 

I did avoid lifting weights or using the arm st the gym. I also had someone else walk my 75 lb dog that has been known to unexpectedly pull. 

Good luck! You will be healed before you know it 🙂

 

 

6 weeks

by Paulb - 2019-05-19 08:57:37

I was told not to lift arm above shoulder or carry more than 8lbs for 6 weeks after the fitting. Also the nurse emphasised the need to keep the arm and shoulder moving to avoid a frozen shoulder. They used to put arms in a sling but that caused too many shoulder problems.

I have a complete heart block and am 100% paced. My lead came out the day after I had the implant. I felt slightly light headed because it was not completely detached. Since it was my first pacemaker I was not sure how I was meant to be feeling and since I could stand up without fainting I assumed everything was normal. 4 hours after returning home my lead completely detached and my heart rate dropped to 23bpm at which point I lay on the floor and called 911 since I wascon the verge of passing out.  So the short answer to your question of will you feel different if they shift is Yes! 

Try a T-shirt

by atiras - 2019-05-19 13:46:31

I had the same restrictions. I slept in a T-shirt with my left arm inside the shirt for a while to prevent me moving it over my head in the night... might work for you. Of a pyjama top or nightgown -- whatever is your sleepwear of choice.

Slack in pacemaker leads

by LondonAndy - 2019-05-19 17:37:02

Firstly don't be alarmed by your stretch overnight - you would know if it had caused a problem.  You will find many posts here about this issue, but fortunately there is plenty of slack in the leads, not least to allow for future pacemaker replacements.  Obviously it is best to avoid dramatic and sudden movements that might cause a problem with how the leads are embedded into the heart wall whilst the body 'secures them', and wise to avoid lifting weights etc, and like most others I was told six weeks before resuming normal life.

Thankyou

by Torosay - 2019-05-20 20:26:59

These are all really helpful comments. Thankyou

I have gave shared my concerns with my cardiologist today. He was v reassuring and explained that yes, we do have to take the precautions seriously but also said that the leads are screwed into the muscle microscopically. He thought my light headedness could be due to more simple causes such as dehydration but the pm will pick up any other arrthymias if they are occurring. 

I particularly like the T shirt idea for night times

 

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