Debating Getting a Pacemaker after Surgeon Recommendation

Hello I would appreciate your input and opinion.

I am 57 years old and have a partial malfunctioning sinus node and when I run I sometimes get lightheaded.  Recently I had a couple lightheaded incidents while only walking and one while sitting.  I wore a heart monitor for 8 days and had a few 3-4 second heart pauses and one 6 second pause.  The Electro Doctor is recommending a two chamber pacemaker for me because of the fear that I will pass out one of these days although I never have.  I am concerned the Doctor is being over conservative.  I have several questions:

1) Has anyone had these symtoms and would recommend getting a pacemaker?

2) Does a two chamber pacemaker limit your golf swing?

3) Can you do extensive weight training with a pacemaker?


Don't be foolish!

by AgentX86 - 2020-05-12 22:09:28

If you pass out on the stairs you could kill yourself.  If you pass out while driving it could kill someone else.  A six-second pause is enough reason to get a pacemaker.  It won't get better and could easily become infinite (sudden cardiac death).

No, after you're fully recovered it won't affect your golf swing.

Weight training isn't an issue though I was warned not to press free weights.  Dropping one on the shoulder could crush the leads.

just do it

by Tracey_E - 2020-05-13 10:15:34

When you are passing out is too late. What if you are driving or on stairs when it happens? A 6 second pause is long enough that your heart could not start back up again. You are symptomatic, you've got a clear reason for the symptoms from the holter. You want to get rid of the dizzy spells, you don't want to live in fear of passing out. IMO, it's a no brainer. If I had to take a guess, I'd predict your energy will increase after. Having a too low resting rate sucks our energy. 

After you heal, you can play golf and lift weights. I've done Crossfit for the last 9 years, been paced for 26 years. Make sure they know you lift before surgery so they place it where it can't be crushed. My doctor told me no restrictions, do what I like as long as I stay active and fit. I've never held back and never had a problem. I also kayak every chance I get, love ropes courses, ride roller coasters, hike or ski most vacations. The pacer does not hold me back at all. Just the opposite, it enables me to do things I didn't have the stamina for before. 

6 seconds of summer

by Monique - 2020-05-13 13:08:43

I'm 60 and last summer I had 3 episodes within 3 months of passing out cold without forewarning of any kind. Twice, smashing my head on the concrete and once waking up in my hallway by myself because I live alone. I was hesitant to accept a pacemaker because I wanted to be sure it was necessary. So I opted for an implantable loop recorder. One month later, my cardiologist interrogated my loop recorder and saw that I had multiple episodes of 6 second pauses. I had intermittent 2nd-3rd degree AV block. He insisted I go by ambulance to the ER and he implanted a Medtronic 2 lead paemaker the next day. That was 10/31/19.

Today, I currently have no pauses. My PM transmissions have been read and there is nothing alarming to report. I had a PM because of Left Bundle Branch Block. Today I run, lift weights, swim, use the elliptical, and hike. I call it my little helper and I'm glad there are things such as this to save people's lives.


My Experience Was Different

by Swangirl - 2020-05-13 14:47:58

Based on what these others have told you I don't want to advocate that you don't get the pacemaker.  Your situation seems different than mine.  However, I had a pacemaker when I was 46 for an episode of tachy-brady and my heart recovered on its own and for most of ten years it never paced once.  Then a second one was implanted and the same thing. I was a runner for 31 years with the pacemakers.   No one wanted to remove it for liability reasons but eventually my cardiologist did and supprorted my healthy lifestyle.  After ten more years with no issues and no pacemaker I had a third degree AV block and now I have a dual chamber St. Jude.  I often wonder if these unnecessary pacemakers negatively affected my heart.  

You know you're wired when...

You have a little piece of high-tech in your chest.

Member Quotes

It's much better to live with a pacemaker than to risk your life without one.