My dad needs a pacemaker

My dad's heart beat is very low but he refused the pacemaker option. Last Monday and Tuesday he fell. He's 82 years old, should he go through the surgery or can he survived the surgery? Your response will be appreciated.


Do the PM

by bowlrbob - 2007-07-12 08:07:51

I don't know your dad's history but putting in a PM is a pretty low risk surgery. They can even do it with a local anesthetic if needed. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour and is not too invasive. It takes some adjusting but I bet he would feel better right away. He doesn't need to be fighting a slow heartbeat at his age. Make sure you get a good Electrophysiologist, ask him lots of questions to put your mind at ease and go for it. Bowlrbob

Pacemaker For Dad

by SMITTY - 2007-07-12 09:07:17

I can concur with Bowlrbob. I guarantee that the surgery for getting a pacemaker implant will be much less traumatic than the breaking of an arm or leg, or worse, from falling. If his falling is caused by blacking out from the low heart rate, the odds are about a 100 to 1 that a pacemaker will stop that and make him feel so much better he will have to try it to believe it. Getting a pacemaker may inhibit his physical activity slightly for a couple of weeks but at 82 I doubt that he participates in many softball games or plays much touch football.

It is very seldom I will recommend any kind of surgery for an 82 year old person, but I happen to have am 83 year neighbor that blacked out and fell while fishing about 2 months ago. During that fall he hit his head on a rock and it has been a downhill run for him since. His wife, 82 years old, has a pacemaker and she is convinced that if he had gotten a pacemaker two years ago when the doctor ecommended it that he not have fallen. Earlier this week I prepared a map from their home to an assisted living facility for her. She expects to carry him there next week.

I don’t know if a pacemaker would have prevented Mr. B’s having to go to the nursing home or not, but I do know that before his fall he was walking about a mile unassisted each day. So, tell your dad that if his doctor recommends the pacemaker, get it. I’m sure it will make him feel better.

By the way, while I’m not as old as your dad, I was in my 70s when I got mine 7 years ago. And I can truthfully say I have had dental work that was much worse than my pacemaker implant.

I wish your dad the best,


Ditto Smitty & Bob

by auntiesamm - 2007-07-12 11:07:19

If your dad is mentally intact and reasonable maybe the best shot would be to read some of the information on this website to him. Smitty's posting above could be very useful. I can understand your dad's reservations; it is the fear of the unknown. As a for instance, my hubby at 76 is 9 years older then me. He needs to have a bronchoscopy done and is terribly concerned about complications and what MIGHT happen. He has had 2 in the past but he was a few years younger and in better physical condition. We discuss this almost everyday or 2 - the pros and cons. I think maybe your dad is in a similar situation - what complications could I experience? The example Smitty gives of his neighbor who declined a pacemaker 2 years ago and fell while fishing is very good. Most likely the pacemaker could have prevented the fall if it was caused by a period of dizziness or blacking out. Sorry there are no magic words that can cause a person to change his or her mind. I will be thinking of you and your dad and say a few prayers for both of you. Let us know if he changes his mind. Stay in touch and God bless you.

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Member Quotes

I am just now 40 but have had these blackouts all my life. I am thrilled with the pacer and would do it all over again.