Getting Back to Daily Life
Your pacemaker system is designed to monitor and treat your slow heart rhythm so you can lead a full and active life. You can find some general tips about resuming normal activities after your pacemaker procedure below. But be sure to talk to your doctor about what’s right for your specific situation.
Exercise and Sports
Activities such as exercising or playing sports demand more oxygenated blood flow to your body than sedentary activities like watching TV. Usually your heart responds to your body’s needs for more blood flow by increasing your heartrate. But sometimes, your heart rate is unable to increase on its own and may need to rely on your pacemaker. Be sure to work with your doctor to decide what activity level is best for you.
Driving After Pacemaker Surgery
Whether you’re able to drive once you have a pacemaker will depend on your specific symptoms and the driving laws where you live. Generally, having a pacemaker does not prohibit you from driving. Although, you may be asked to wait to drive during the early stage of recovery. That’s because a few seconds of unconsciousness could be dangerous for both you and others. Be sure to ask your doctor or healthcare provider about any driving restrictions you may have.
Whether you’re a driver or passenger, you may want to find padding to cover your surgery site and make wearing a seatbelt more comfortable. You may find pads in local retail stores that will provide comfort for your pocket site.
Many people are concerned about whether it’s safe to resume sexual intimacy after a pacemaker procedure. For most people with a pacemaker, sexual activity is safe. This is because the natural heart rate increase that occurs during sex is the same as the heart rate increase when you exercise. Your doctor may perform stress or exercise tests at the hospital to become familiar with how your heart rate increases during activities such as sex. This will help him or her program your pacemaker settings.
Most patients decide to avoid sexual activity for about one week after the procedure. While your incision is healing, you should avoid supporting your weight with your arms during sexual activity.
Talk to Your Doctor
Every pacemaker patient’s situation is unique. So it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to safely resume normal activities after your pacemaker procedure.
Resources and Support
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