Lifting weights after pacemaker replacement surgery

It has been four weeks since my pacemaker replacement surgery. I'm 54 years old and the wound has healed nicely. 

Thinking about some light weighlifting this week including pushups, shoulder press and bench press. Anyone think its too early?



work out

by athena123 - 2021-11-30 18:21:51

Hi, I recieved my PM back in April of 2019 and i think i started with light weights 3 weeks after but i was cautious not to lift up over my head. You want to make sure you protect your leads so i would do some light lifting for about a month then gradually increase your weight. You can pretty much lift any type of weight but do not over extend for a month or so, when your working out on shoulders dont go up all the way but maybe 3/4 to be on the safe side. good luck


by AgentX86 - 2021-11-30 20:24:02

I'd start slow to make sure you haven't lost anything (and can control the weights).  After four weeks you should be good to go except for extreme motion like full golf swings, pacer-side tennis serves, some swimming strokes, etc.  These should wait three to six months, depending on your EP and individual considerations.

My EP's only instruction regarding weight training was "no pressing free weights".  His worry was crushing the leads against the collarbone.

go for it

by Tracey_E - 2021-12-01 10:11:14

As long as you didn't get a new lead, with a replacement it's just waiting for the incision to heal and you feel up to it. My doctor had me wait 4 weeks to go back to the gym. Not because it took that long to heal, but because of infection risk from an open incision. I feel that was overkill, but a month off didn't kill me.

I found it took a couple more months before I was back to my previous weights with no residual soreness. Mine is subpectoral so it took a while to fully heal and get numb again. 

go easy and slow at first

by Theknotguy - 2021-12-01 12:36:58

The only caution I would give you is to go easy and slow.  There is a lot of tissue healing that goes on after the skin surface has healed.  I started a little too early and ended up pulling and tearing scar tissue.  Then I had to quit for about six weeks while waiting for the scar tissue to heal.  Evan after waiting the six weeks, I'd still feel the occasional pull as underlying scar tissue had healed but hadn't had a chance to stretch out.

I'd be OK during the day, but the next day it would feel like someone had wrapped my pacemaker in sandpaper and scrubbed it around in the pocket.  Hot packs, cold packs, and Tylenol were my friends until things finally healed.  

I didn't lift weights but was working in a wood shop lifting various amounts of wood.  Lots of twisting, bending, and lifting. Oh, and I had broken ribs from CPR so it took me quite a while to get over that too.  

Worked with a security guard who had a pacemaker and lifted weights.  Said he'd worked up to 300 pounds bench pressing.   Finally broke a lead.  Knew he'd been pushing it.  Also knew when he broke the lead.  Went in to see EP.  Said he was getting along fine as long as he wasn't lifting weights.  Could he schedule lead replacement.  Nope! Was the answer from the EP so he found himself in the middle of an unplanned hospital visit getting lead fixed.  That's why I say take it easy and slow.  Otherwise you might have to start all over while having to listen to a ticked off EP, spouse, and a few other people.  Not to mention all the time you'd lose because you now have to recover from two surgeries.  And the worst part is you'd have to look in the mirror and blame yourself.  

Otherwise.  Hope your adjustment to your pacemaker goes well.  

Weights after surgery

by LJRytel - 2021-12-03 12:09:02

Thank you all for the comments!


by Sidney Essex - 2021-12-08 11:19:26

I waited 11 weeks before I started to play golf,  Took it easy.   Still had some soreness.  Had an appointment with the cardiologist, said all was ok just give it time, he said it can take 6 to 12 months to completely heal.  Those of you doing things after 4 weeks are very lucky.  After 6 months I was back in hospital to have the pacemaker removed because of an infection.  I am now waoiting to heal, and next week I am back to the hospital for a new one, inserted on the opposite side.   Take your time.   Everyone heals differently/

a lesson in patience

by KF - 2021-12-09 01:15:29

I started after three weeks doing floor exercises. Crunches and stretching. But only after six weeks did I go back to resistance bands. Use them instead of weights. Their much safer and give you double the work out. That was in April of last year. I Spent this past summer swimming laps, free style and backstroke , using resistance bands and miles of walking. I hope I don't wear out my battery to soon, feel good and stay well.

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Your pacemaker interferes with your electronic scale.

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