Running after Pace Maker Surgery
Hi! Had my pacemaker implant on Aug 22, 2019, with a Medtronic Pacemaker that is "MRI, microwave friendly", since I also have arthritis and have to get an MRI annually. I am retired Air Force so had my implant done at Brooke Army Medical Cente. I have been a runner for 35 years, so my first question to the doc was when can I run again. He told me 4 weeks from the surgery date, but I have heard through the grapevine from other pacemaker folks that 6 weeks is probably better. Any feedback on that? How long does it take the scar tissue to form to firmly hold the leads in place?
As for my running, I am not a 'hard-core' runner that does distance running - can't do distance anymore, with my spinal arthritis - so I mainly just do 5Ks - have done 50 5K races so far in 2019, and the last one was the weekend before my surgery - and I go at a pretty easy pace - about 10:30 - 11:30 minute miles - and also,due to my arthritis do an 8 min run/2 minute walk pattern. I am a pretty 'relaxed' runner and do not really swing my arms vigorously like, say, a competitor speed runner would do. Even so, just want to be sure I don't dislocate my leads. So, is a month sufficent time for me to get back to my running? I have an appointment with the Cardiac Rehab folks on Sep 24 and if they give me the okay, I planned to start back with a very easy run/walk on Sep 25, which would be 2 days before the 5-week post surgery point. Oh, and I have been walking. Today (Sep 15) I got up to a 4.1 mile walk in preparation for my come-back, and I had no problems and felt pretty good. BTW, I am a 65-year old male.
Thank you for any shared experiences and recommendations based on what you have dealt with.