Getting back to daily life
Your CRT device is designed to help your heart beat more efficiently and monitor your condition so you can lead a full and active life. You can find some general tips about resuming normal activities after your implant procedure below. But be sure to talk to your doctor about what’s right for your specific situation.
Exercise and Sports
Your healthcare provider may ask you to avoid strenuous activity, especially upper body activity, for a few months after your CRT procedure to give you time to heal. After that, you will probably be able to do most of the things you did before your implant. But your underlying heart condition will factor into the type and amount of exercise you can do.
Your doctor may recommend an exercise test to check the settings on your CRT device for the heart rate you achieve during activity. With the information from an exercise test, you’ll have a better understanding of what physical activity and exercise levels you can reach.
Driving After CRT Surgery
Whether you’re able to drive once you have a CRT device will depend on the driving laws where you live and your specific symptoms, such as passing out prior to the implant. Generally, having a CRT-D or CRT-P device does not prohibit you from driving. However, you may be asked to wait to drive during the early stage of recovery. In some cases, restrictions are necessary. That’s because a few seconds of unconsciousness could be dangerous to both you and others. Your healthcare team will discuss any driving restrictions with you.
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.
It’s common to be concerned about whether it’s safe to resume sexual intimacy after receiving a CRT-D or CRT-P implant. For most people with a CRT device, sexual activity is not a medical risk. 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 exercise testing at the hospital to program your device settings to help ensure you don’t get a shock during sex. If you do receive a shock during sex, your partner may feel a tingling sensation. However, the shock will not harm your partner. Be sure to let your doctor know if you receive a shock during sex so he or she can reprogram your CRT device if necessary.
Talk to Your Doctor
Every patient’s situation is unique. So it’s important to talk to your doctor about ways to safely resume normal activities after receiving a CRT device.