Sub-pectoral PM Recovery

I am due to have my first replacement PM in 3 weeks, the first one was placed sub-pectoral and lasted 12 years with no problems. 

As it was so long since I had the inital implantation, my memory of the recovery is a little hazy. I was 15 years old and a competitive gymnast at the time and I remember it taking around 6 weeks to lift my arm up above my head and even longer to hang off a bar and pull up etc. 

I am incredibly fit and active and my job is physical so I would really like to hear from any of you who have had your PM placed sub-pectoral and how you found the recovery process, as I am currently trying to assess how much time I will need off work. My main concerns are; how long did it take you to lift your arm above your head, how long did it take before you could bear weight on that arm/lift weight/hang off a bar and can you drive afterwards? 

Any help, advice or anecdotes would be really appreciated, thank you. 


Arm raising restriction was about the leads not the PM

by crustyg - 2021-05-05 11:51:32

Hi: Most of the reason for discouraging a lot of high arm raising for a while post PM implantation is to protect the new leads not the PM.

For some folk, replacing the PM can be quite a job (depends on the build-up of scar tissue), but for most it's a lot less trouble than the initial pocket creation and lead placement.

Make sure that you have agreed with your EP-doc where the replacement is going: it's almost always possible to use the same pocket, but it does no harm to make sure that they know where you want the replacement.  Check the consent form!

You will find you get some twinges from the pocket around your replacement PM for a while, but in general you can do as much as you feel able without causing yourself real pain.  Avoiding a lot of really heavy sweating (to keep the dressing on the skin wound over the new PM) is probably the most important.  Heavy sweating => dressing comes loose => skin gets infected =>bad things *may* happen underneath.  Best avoided until your skin dressing is OK to be removed.


by ar_vin - 2021-05-05 12:07:34

Crusty has given you some good tips on what to expect.

I had a sub-pec placement in September 2018 and my recovery was pretty unremarkable. I was able to get back to most activities like walking two days after implant, was hiking and jogging within a week, and was running two weeks or so after. As noted I avoided lifting weights of any kind for almost a month and avoided raising my arm overhead for a bit longer.

I think it took me a good three months to work up the courage to try a pull up ;).

The implant wound in my case was sealed with surgical glue and I was told I could shower the next day after the implant. The warm shower helped me feel immensely better! The only reason I didn't work up a sweat the first week after implant was because I didn't try - I just felt so beat up! 

I would request surgical glue to seal the wound - it makes a big difference. And  there's no fiddly dressing to worry about. 






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