Short-term, your doctor might recommend avoiding heavy lifting or more strenuous activity, especially those activities that require your upper body strength and could irritate or aggravate the incision site. However, your recovery should be complete in approximately four weeks’ time.
You’ll usually be able to do all the things you want to do after around 4 weeks. The time you need off work will depend on your job. Your cardiologist will usually be able to advise you about this. Typically, people who have had a pacemaker fitted are advised to take 3 to 7 days off.
The most common complication is lead dislodgement (higher rate atrial dislodgment than ventricular dislodgment), followed by pneumothorax, infection, bleeding/pocket hematoma, and heart perforation, not necessarily in that order, depending on the study (15-29) (Tables 2,33).
The observed 5-year survival was 45% in our patients aged 85 years or more. It compares well with previous studies on patients ≥ 80 years that showed a survival in the range between 40% and 49%.
Pacemakers are generally safe; however, there may be few side effects present, which include:
You may feel a hard ridge along the incision. This usually gets softer in the months after surgery. You may be able to see or feel the outline of the pacemaker under your skin. You will probably be able to go back to work or your usual routine 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Sleep on your side. If you have an implanted defibrillator, sleep on the opposite side. Most defibrillators are implanted on the left side, so sleeping on the right side may feel more comfortable.
Do keep MP3 players at least 15cm (6in) from your pacemaker. Don’t use an induction hob if it is less than 60cm (2 feet) from your pacemaker. Don’t put anything with a magnet within 15cm (6in) of your pacemaker. Don’t linger for too long in shop doorways with anti-theft systems, although walking through them is fine.
Some general guidelines are:
Most people have no problems after having a pacemaker fitted, but if you experience dizziness, breathlessness or symptoms similar to those that you may have felt prior to pacemaker implant such as syncope/collapse, you should contact your GP or pacemaker clinic.
The longest working pacemaker (present day) is 37 years 281 days and was achieved by Stephen Peech (UK), as of 7 June 2021. The pacemaker was implanted on 29th September 1983, at Killingbeck Hospital which now no longer exists. As of achieving the record, Stephen is 75 years of age.
A pacemaker does not actually beat for the heart, but delivers en- ergy to stimulate the heart muscle to beat. Once someone stops breathing, his body can no longer get oxygen and the heart muscle will die and stop beating, even with a pacemaker.
Having a pacemaker should not significantly alter or disrupt your life. As long as you follow a few simple precautions and follow your healthcare provider’s schedule for periodic follow-up, your pacemaker should not noticeably impact your lifestyle in any negative way.
For most older people, the benefits of implanting a pacemaker outweigh the risks. Age should not be a barrier to getting a pacemaker —even for people over age 90, a new study finds.
Surveys have shown that up to 80% of pacemakers are implanted in the elderly and the average age of pacemaker recipients is now 75 ± 10 years. Although considered by many as “minor” surgery, pacemaker implantation complications may occur in up to 3%–4% of cases.
Permanent decrease of systolic blood pressure was observed only in small number (5.8%) of pacemaker patients.