I like to do resistive training and weights, and need to to be able to return to work!. Big issue for me is building up my neck, shoulders and back (I also had Open Heart and lost 45 lbs).

Pacemaker,Defib 6/6/08 - all they said was no lifting left arm over shoulders for 6 weeks. I started machine training 2 weeks ago and NOW they tell me not to do Lat pulldowns or anything where I have to have my arms (left) over my shoulders because it can mess up the "pocket" or the wires??. BIG impact on my training. Suggestions or Experiences?

I do not do heavy weights, more into the circuit training aspects with low (20-35 lbs) when using Lat Pulldowns and other machines - several required arms over the shoulders.

Anyone experience this - any input will help


Your choice...

by dward - 2008-08-15 02:08:41

It comes down to you choosing what is more important...
Talk to anybody here who has ended up with a broken lead. They will tell you it's no fun.
Moving too much before you heal properly can cause a few different problems, some which may result in additional surgery being required (this doesn't necessarily mean using heavy weights.)

Pretty hard to work or exercise when you're having more surgery!

I had to stop golfing for a few months - during the BEST part of the season, but I figured short term pain, long term gain. I didn't want to screw up any proper healing.

You can get all the opinions you want, but ultimately
your priorities are YOUR choice.

D. Ward

start slowly

by Tracey_E - 2008-08-15 05:08:15

If you're past 6 weeks and cleared to exercise, I'd try it and see how it feels. If it doesn't hurt, odds are the pocket is fine and after six weeks your wires should be good also. There is a difference between pulling the leads out of position within the heart and damaging the lead itself. After the first few weeks, odds are high you will not pull them out of position because they start to grow in and anchor themselves. Move the wires in your chest around, maybe damage them... eh, maybe, but probably not. They are strong and flexible and they are insulated. I would start with just a little weight and build up slowly, stop if it pulls. But only after 6 weeks, behave until then!

My pm is buried deep with no visible scars so I have leads all over the place (the price of those not-visible scars). I do whatever I want and never give it a thought, weight training included.

And I have an impeded lead- doctor's big word for a kink. :o) It's been that way for years now. It works fine but it's draining my battery faster than normal. The kink is in the insulation layer so the wire still transmits the signals. Picture the fridge door open- it still cools but it runs up the power bill.

When I had my last battery change, the surgeon let it up to me and I chose to keep the bad lead. Because battery changes are so easy, I wasn't worried about a shorter battery life. I'll probably go ahead and get new leads when I do my next change because the technology is so much better. They don't take the old leads out, they just put new ones in on top of the old ones.

I don't know what caused the lead to kink but it's quite possible I did it working out, or it could just be my unusual placement. *shrug* I'm not going to worry about how it happened and I'm not going to change how I do anything. To me staying in shape and not having a long list of overly cautious restrictions on how I live my life is more important than the very slim chance I might mess something up. That may not be the majority opinion, but it is mine! :o)

What I do..

by turboz24 - 2008-08-15 10:08:30

I don't have a pacer, but an ICD, so I only use mine in the event of an arrythmia, but....

I was told not to do any lifting for 2 weeks, then I could resume my normal activity. The doc knew I weight trained a good amount and with heavy weights.

I resumed lifting a little over 2 weeks after my implant, with pull ups, military presses, etc.

My current doc probably thinks I'll eventually damage the lead, but he has never told me as much.

It's a very simple equation for me..... If I can't workout in a balanced way, I'll just stop working out, and it seems that the doctors would prefer that I keep myself in good condition vs get really skinny and weak, probably lower my EF in the process to reduce the slight increased risk of a fractured lead. This was evident when I was in the hospital and for the 2 weeks I didn't workout, I crashed 18 lbs, did a number on me physically. Now that I'm 200 lbs again, I can't see myself stoping exercise to drop back to 155 lbs.

So, my feeling is... if the lead fractures from doing something my heart and body can handle, then the placement is at fault or it's simply a bad/poorly designed lead.

8 weeks post PM

by coketbone - 2008-08-18 12:08:49

I'm 8 weeks post OP with PM for SSS. I would say the most imortant thing for me is do what my Dr says. Mine released me 6 post OP to do anything I was doing before with one exception, No heavy over head weights. I gained 25 lbs in 6 weeks. Just started running 2 weeks back. For me I'm going lighter weights and more reps. Hope this helps Thomas


by proreps - 2008-08-20 08:08:01

Thanks - my feeling is that the lighter weights and more reps is what I want. I can still gain the strength back, get some muscle back, and get back to work. I also had Open Heart surgery 2 no before the PM/defib, so PM but me back 2 months. I've benn off since mid March, lost 45 lbs, but FINALLY was able to start training 3 weeks ago.

Gained definite muscle mass and gained around 8 lbs so far. There are other ways I've played with to get same results with Lats and other back muscles w/o doing direct 180 degree arm extension over head. I've been angling on the machines but still using the same musles (ie on machine stand up and extend arms to slightly over head high and then pull in - can definitely feel the muscles getting worked in back.

Thanks again.


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