New member

My husband had an ICD implanted last Tuesday .  His discharge instructions stated "return to normal activities" - Wednesday!  He is still fatigued and sore and just generally aches. No fever, no palpitations, chest pain, etc, and the incision looks great.  Just curious as to when most people return to work.  He has a desk job but I'm concerned about him working with this level of fatigue. To me, it's to be expected.  So I'm baffled by the dr instructions of resuming normal activities THE NEXT DAY. We had scheduled off time until Monday with the expectation that it may be extended.  He is 70, very active, and was unaware he had an issue until pre-op testing was done for knee surgery (which is now postponed)

He's now concerned that what he's feeling isn't normal. I disagree! Lol

Any input would be much appreciated. 



by docklock - 2023-03-25 20:22:26

I'm no expert by any stretch of imagination, but WOW.  Everything I've read is: anywhere from a week to two weeks before return to normal activities.  
The incision has to begin to heal. The leads need time to "set". 
Not supposed to raise elbow above your shoulder.  
I know there are Pacers on here with way, way more experience than I have.  I'm sure they will chime in.  


Normal activities

by Persephone - 2023-03-25 20:29:49

Hi Emmie - I'm glad everything sounds like it's going ok for your husband and you. When is his-follow up appointment? That will be a good time to ask questions.

My first appt was on day 6, counting the surgery as day 1, and the tech said "go live your life, all looks well" but I still had lots of questions and things I was unsure about. I went back to work on day 11.

Take your time, everybody goes at their own pace and recovery is not a competition or a race. Encourage your husband to move every day and do some gentle exercise as he becomes accustomed to the implant.

Best wishes to you.

Edited to add after seeing Docklock's post - my thoughts exactly. I wonder if the discharge notes were meant to say "the following Wednesday"



by Old male - 2023-03-25 20:38:21

Should have gotten an instruction sheet as most are sent home with after any surgery.  As docklock said no reaching above shoulder level if I remember for about 6 weeks.  Believe you are not supposed to drive for a couple of weeks.  No problem doing desk work.  I've been ICD patient for 9 years due to Ventricular Tachycardia. He definitely needs to get more info as to what to expect.  This is a good place to ask questions.


by Emmie - 2023-03-25 20:51:43

I'm so grateful to get such great feedback so quickly!  We did receive a "discharge instructions" sheet which said "drive - after 24 hours", "resume normal activities - Wed"., "return to Dr- 2 weeks" and listed restrictions as to lifting, movement, etc.  

Great point that maybe they meant Wednesday WEEK.  That would make so much more sense.  I think we will go with that! 

Thanks so happy to have found this group.  We will definitely be reading through old posts/topics!




by new to pace.... - 2023-03-25 21:27:04

Welcome to your husband to the club he did not want to belong to.  It would be helpful if you would fill in his bio, such as the mfg, model style where he lives etc.  As sometimes our answers to your quries depends on where you live.

new to pace

New Member

by AgentX86 - 2023-03-25 21:58:39

Tell your husband, "welcome to the group". 😉 Please fill out the profile.  It does matter when we answer questions.  For example, this is an international group and customs vary.  Often what's normal in one location (particularly insurance) isn't in another.

As other have said, it's unusual that they wouldn't instruct him about motion and weight limits for that arm.  There are other issues like bathing, swimming, and such that are extremely important.  Infections can be deadly serious.

Since he has a desk job, he can probably go back whenever he feels capable.  I went back to work the next day. 

Driving is another one of those location dependent issues.  I was told a week but I only have a pacemaker.  Often an ICD requires a lot more time because of the danger of it firing.


by Tracey_E - 2023-03-25 22:37:07

More doctors are dropping the 4-6 week limitations after a study that showed people with no restrictions post-op had no more incident of lead dislodgement than patients with the traditional 4-6 week arm restrictions. It's unusual but not unheard of. My ep has gone fropm 4-6 weeks to 2 weeks. 

That said, just because he is allowed to go back to work doesn't  mean he has to. If he doesn't feel up to it, he should take more time off. 


by Julros - 2023-03-25 22:52:00

I am wondering if emmie's husband received a subcutaneous defibrillator. The lead is not inserted through a vein and not as prone to dislodgement. 


by Emmie - 2023-03-25 23:28:57

I will add the info tomorrow. Thanks so much. 

Lead dislogment

by AgentX86 - 2023-03-26 00:42:41

It's my understanding that lead dislodgment isn't the issue, rather doing more damage to the wound/shoulder/nerves/scar tissue.   This is also the reason it still has to be moved, so the damage doesn't build up.

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