Naturally, it’s common to have some anxiety about a pacemaker implant when going into surgery. So, it’s best to be prepared. What are some of the do’s and don’t after pacemaker surgery? What should you expect?
Your pacemaker is truly a marvel of modern medical engineering. Today’s pacemakers have advanced algorithms and monitoring techniques, ensuring you can live your life without constant worry over whether it’s working correctly.
In this post, we’ll explore the basics of pacemakers and how they work and talk about the best care for yourself and your pacemaker throughout its implant life.
Pacemakers: Knowledge Equals Preparation
Since this post is about being prepared, we’ll talk about pacemaker reliability, monitoring, and surgery. This will make sure you know what to expect.
Your pacemaker is essentially a tiny metal computer weighing about an ounce that runs on a long-lasting battery. Before the implant, the specialist checks that your pacemaker’s internal counters are zero (meaning it’s brand new). They “interrogate” the pacemaker wirelessly to check if it is ready to perform its functions correctly and has a full battery. All this happens before it even comes out of its packaging; the doctors have to ensure everything is in order before proceeding with the implant.
Once the implant is complete, the doctors program the pacemaker as is necessary for your unique needs. This allows your heart to function correctly while also maximizing battery longevity.
After the procedure, your doctor schedules follow-up appointments to verify that everything’s working correctly. They place a wand over the area of the implant so that your pacemaker can wirelessly communicate with the technician’s computer. Each communication with the implant reduces battery life by a minuscule amount, so they schedule the appointments precisely to ensure your pacemaker lasts as long as possible. The lifespan of your pacemaker accounts for the regular usage of its remote communication features.
Do’s and Don’ts After Pacemaker Surgery
When your surgery is complete, it’s essential to know what to do and what to avoid to maximize your quality of life with the pacemaker.
The good thing is that while your doctor will let you know what activities you must limit, generally, you can continue to enjoy your normal daily activities after you fully recover from surgery.
Immediately after the surgery, though, it’s best to adhere to a few basic guidelines.
Don’ts after pacemaker surgery
- Do not perform any heavy lifting and movements that involve rough contact. Your doctor will let you know what activities are appropriate.
- Do not raise your arm (on the side of the body with the pacemaker) above the shoulder unless instructed otherwise.
- Do not take any NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) without consulting your doctor.
- Do not alter or miss any medication dosages. Take all medications as instructed by your doctor.
- Do not take a bath or enter a hot tub or any other body of water until your recovery is complete. This is so that your incision can heal properly.
Do’s after pacemaker surgery
- Do make sure you’re aware of the follow-up schedule for your pacemaker’s regular checkups.
- Do obtain your Medical ID card and keep it with you at all times. This lets caregivers, health providers, and emergency personnel know that you have a pacemaker installed. Check that the information on it is correct.
- Do review the Patient Manual for your pacemaker to understand the device’s functionality and how to avoid electromagnetic (EM) interference.
- Do keep any electronic devices a short distance away from your implant area. This includes cell phones, computers, and other personal electronics.
- Do communicate regularly with your doctor to monitor your treatment progress.
- Do stay active. At the least, walking is an excellent activity.
- Do make sure to rest when you’re feeling tired.
We hope we’ve given you an idea of the do’s and don’ts after pacemaker surgery.
Octagos Health offers fully HIIPA-compliant, secure remote monitoring solutions for cardiac patients and healthcare professionals. Give us a call today at (281) 769-8733 to request a demo or more information.