Nervous about PM implant

Hi everyone. I am super nervous about getting my pacemaker for the 1st time on Thursday. I am only 41 years old but have passed out twice with serious injuries including breaking my neck. I am an active runner hiker and love to travel. I also love playing sports with my kids. Would like to know how the surgery to implant the pacemaker is. Are you completely awake or really drowsy? Also any young people like myself on this form?  Thanks everyone hoping to get support on this website thank you



by Tracey_E - 2020-04-14 22:42:05

Ask them what they plan to use. Most in the US use conscious sedation so we are awake but don't remember anything. Some use a lighter sedation and a local. Tell them you are nervous, they can make sure you are relaxed. 

Your age is about average here. We have the usual over 60 crowd but also teenagers paced since childhood and everything in between. I got my first at 27, am 53 now. 

What's your diagnosis? Most of us heal and bounce back and are able to do what we want. I do crossfit and run, hike or ski most vacations, never miss a chance to kayak or zip line. There's nothing I want to do that I cannot. 

Pacemaker surgery

by AgentX86 - 2020-04-14 22:46:31

First of all, welcome to the forum.  You'll find a lot of good people here who can help you with emotional help and understanding of your heart problems and your new friend.

To answer your questions...

Are you completely awake or really drowsy? That's a good question fo your EP.  I was completely awake, only local anesthetics in my shoulder and groin (I had more than a PM done at the time).  I was chatting with the EP who was implanting my PM while my EP was futzing with catheters from my leg up into my heart.  No problem but it's probably something one wouldn't want to do with some experience with this sort of thing.  It's quite simple but, as you note, can be rather disconcerting.  You'll probably given "twilight sedation", where you're barely aware of what's happening to you and won't remember much of anything.  There is a possibility that you'll be put under but I wouldn't go that way.

Also any young people like myself on this form? Sure, but not I'm not one of them.  ;-)  You can read through the forum and find any number of people who are your age or younger and people who had a pacemaker implanted long ago, when they were much younger than you are.

If you have any more questions (you will) you found a good place to ask.  There aren't any, honest (we do get trolls), dumb questions.




by arentas80 - 2020-04-15 01:28:10

Hello and WELCOME!! 

We all know exactly how you're feeling. I'm only 39 and had mine put in 12/30/2019. I have sleep apnea so I asked that I be put out completely and they were happy to do so. I have too much anxiety anyways to be awake for something like that. My experience went great I thought. I was in the room one minute and the next I was slowly coming to. They placed mine under the muscle and right by my left armpit so once it fully heals you won't really see it. Anyways we wish you safe and successful implant and as Tracey and AgentX86 said, there are great people here who are happy to listen and help. All the best to you and may god keep you blessed! 



by JaeJae - 2020-04-19 09:05:25

Ask about the sedative. I was unable to have this due to allergies so just local and awake lying there thinking to myself haha. So lucky my surgeon had music playing.

I'm at week 4 and starting to find I hardly notice it now. Im 29 so I cant let it slow me down. I'm back biking and walking the dog with ease.

Good lick for your surgery!

You're not alone

by Cowhorse17 - 2020-04-20 23:45:44

Welcome to the forum. You're not alone! I am 32 amd just got my PM put in 3 weeks ago today. It was unexpected and didnt have time to think about it really as my doc made it kind of an emergency. The surgery was fine, I was awake and just had a local on mine. I talked to the surgeon the whole time and it was good. I was drugged a little to relax me but other than that I remember the whole thing. Was a great experience and I think that has a lot to do with your surgeon and nurses! If you have confidence in your cardiologist and surgeon you'll be in good hands. The surgery only lasted about 1hr or so. I am pretty athletic, I'm a fitness coach, workout daily, ranch and have kids so I'm super active and healthy. I healed up great and still am, but so far so good!

The 1st 1.5 weeks were kinda sucky getting used to, being restricted and I had to go back in to adjust the timing and etc on the pacemaker. But the last 1.5 weeks have been great since they made some adjustments. Healed up well so far and am doing low impact workouts and a lot of fast walking to makeup for not being able to do high impact stuff or ride at all right now. It's an adjustment but I have been feeling so much better, definitely takes getting used to that's for sure!

I'll admit I was scared as we didnt have much time to think about it, my doc scheduled it 3 days after my followup with him and it wasnt expected. So I understand the fear, but its a good thing. Look at it this way, it beats the alternative of not having it! Just takes time to recover but you'll feel so much better when you have it put in! Good luck, you got this!


by dwelch - 2020-04-25 00:15:55

I am on my fifth device, first one 32 years ago when I was 19, and neither Tracey nor I started earliest there were some teens here last year or the year before as in middle school, high school aged, and others that started as children.  Yes most folks start much older, even at your age which is younger than I am now you will likely be the youngest patient in the drs office for some time and depending on the age of your doc and if you stay there may retire a doc or two.

Age has nothing to do with it if you need it you need it and its worth it, period.  While for your doc you may be young or unique for your age, but in general not, and a site like this helps with that feeling and are not alone.

My first two I was awake and remember the next three I dont remember, I kinda prefer it that way.  They give you something to "calm you down" and it works...I have had these across 32 years in three different towns with I thnk three different surgeions.  The current place the surgeon is not the EP, I see and work with the EP most of the time and the surgeon does the surgery...(He might have day to day office stuff too not sure).

This last one or maybe the one before I think I had to move off the table (not as skinny as I used to be) but then apparently zoned out when the surgeon came by and we had a conversation according to my wife.  then later I was upset I didnt get to talk to him, apparently I had and was in and out...But its really a short period of time start to finish couple of hours.  Just a device you can go home the same day, leads my first docs rule was stay the night and I had new leads for the first two (a lead broke taking out number one) and then my last one is a three lead so got a new lead.

You will be able to run and hike and not worry about passing out due to your heart, it should make life a whole lot better.






Reason for pacemaker

by - 2020-04-26 09:17:59


I was 42 when I first got my pacemaker. Funny story... went in for a colonoscopy and came out with a pacemaker! Lol Turns out I had a complete heartblock ( Av Block). 10 years later, second generator and 3 days ago a new generator. Now I'm 62...forgot how sore it was, of course I was 10 years younger. It's interesting to read the reasons why people receive their pacemakers, especially at younger ages.


Nervous about surgery

by jfbuffy - 2020-04-29 09:38:58


I seriously doubt you are as nervous as I was! Worse yet I went on YouTube and the internet to learn everything I could ! I sort of freaked myself out. I even read about the drugs they use to sedate you ! Don't do what I did ! 

The people on this forum or this pacemaker site in my opinion are absolutely outstanding and their knowledge was of incredible assistance to me . Just a bunch of really smart people and people with a wealth of experiences .

i find it most interesting the different ways this pacemaker surgery is performed,  In Edmonton, Canada one guy told me the entire operation was done with him awake and talking.

A guy in New York claimed he was in and out of surgery in like 40 minutes !

i had my operation at Kaiser . I told them how nervous I was and that I was claustrophobic. One minute they were wheeling me into the operating room, I scooted onto the operating room table from my bed and the next minute I was sitting in the bed and a girl was sitting on a barstool talking to me like we had been engaged in a conversation for sometime while I was thinking to myself where am I ? Is the operation over? Thank goodness it was. Surgery today is quite remarkable I don't think I would have wanted to live 100 years ago. Hope all goes well for you ( it will) and that the surgery is over quick !


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Your device makes you win at the slot machines.

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