Iam sad

So My pacemaker was implanted for more than a year before I started working out. I was happy and gain more confidence in myself when I started because never in my 20 years of life I would be doing exercises for myself, in the past years all I do is sit or lie down playing games and whatnot and I was happy to make a change for myself. Months later I started seeing progress especially the gains of muscle. Sadly after my next check up on my doctor advised me not do to push and pull exercise with my left arm since it can damage the leads and told it my leads loosens, i dont know if it happened after or before working out. My doctor tells me to do only cardio but my goal was just not to be healthy but also to look good, I was always one of the small kid being short and skinny, I dont think I could bulk with only cardio. Im really depressed anyone also have similar situation to mine?


You *can* continue with your upper body exercises - unless you already have symptoms.

by crustyg - 2021-01-08 18:31:05

If the Doc who put the leads into your heart and placed your PM did the job properly there is no reason why you shouldn't do upper body exercises, chins/dips, free weights.

Hanging from your arms shouldn't be able to pull your leads out - there should be some slack inside your heart for this, and if modern, actively fixed leads were used then they shouldn't be able to be dislodged by a gym workout.

It is true that *IF* the leads are very close underneath the clavicle/collar bone, then some upper body exercises can, over a long time, tend to damage the leads at that point, *BUT* this is something that properly trained EP-docs are taught to avoid so they don't put the leads too close underneath this bone.

There are quite a few contributors here who are very keen on upper body workouts, and only one that I recall who has had any trouble with their PM leads from this.  All the others are able to exercise in this way without problems.  You should be fine to carry on exercising as you were.

Don't let a pacemaker limit you

by Pinkit94 - 2021-01-08 21:36:26

As a young person don't let a pacemaker limit you more than necessary, worry when you need to worry, but also go out, have fun and enjoy your life! I was in a similar boat as you (I was 22 when I got my icd), after about a year after my ICD implant I felt a little blue, but that's when I started mountain biking and life started to be more enjoyable. I had my ICD implanted in 2016, had a second one implanted in 2017, and I did/do all sorts of sports and activities (including weight lifting). My doctor said that I can do weight training, I just had to start out slowly (twice a week) with lighter weights and fewer reps. Over a course of 6 months, I increased the weights and reps. To this day there are times when I know I'm doing too much and that's when I stop. The key is to start out slowly and listen to your body. Best of luck!


by AgentX86 - 2021-01-09 12:58:53

Unless your EP screwed up and used eads that were too short, there should be no problem with upper body exercise (my EP won't allow free weight presses).  If the proper leads were used (different for each patient), there is quite a bit of slack left between the device and where the lead enters the vein.  This slack allows the shoulder to move in any direction they're designed to move without putting any tension on the leads.

Also, modern leads are actively attached to the heart muscle so it takes a lot of stress to unlodge them.  Things have changed a lot over the last fifty years.

The above said, make sure your EP agrees.  If not, get a second opinion.  There may be some weird reason for this restriction. Make him explain himself.  Any EP worth the title will be more than happy to explain his thoughts. We shouldn't have to change our lives without being given reasons for it.

Life is good.  Make the best of it.


Always another way. Learn to listen without giving up your autonomy.

by Gotrhythm - 2021-01-09 17:26:52

Unfortunately, there's what appears to be a typo in your post, and I can't tell if you are saying that your doctor has told you a lead has already loosened, or that a lead might become loose at some time in the future. that being the case it's hard to give a specific response to your problem re:exercise.

But here is what I can tell you generally. You're young. You have a lifetime ahead of you in which you will have to decide how to live with a pacemaker. And you have a lifetime during which you'll meet a lot of doctors who will tell you many things. But whatever they say has been filtered through their own personalities.

Some are super conservative and will caution against even the smallest risk that something might happen sometime in the future. Some are chance takers and will disregard even obvious and very present risks.

Although most doctors mean well and give the best advice they know, it still behooves you to listen carefully, and then think critically about advice you are given. If they tell you you mustn't do something you really want to do, question them. Ask for facts and statistics. Check with other experts. Weigh the pros and cons and decide for yourself.

If you decide you should follow their advice, then immediatly begin to search for another way to still achieve the outcome what you want, while taking appropriate cautions. It may require some creativity, but there is almost always another way to accomplish anything.

If what you care about is body building, then find another way. I've seen men achieve fabulous results with simple isometric exercises requiring no gym equipment at all. I'm sure there are other options that someone really knowledgeable about body mechanics could show you. 

At 20, you are on the brink of full adulthood. All your life you will have doctors telling you what to do and not do. Listen to them, but decide for yourself what is right for you. Do not give over your autonomy to them--or anyone else.

Daily life

by Atom Ant - 2021-01-09 18:05:02

I'm getting my defibrillator Feb. 6. I'm 61, very active, do light weight lifting every other day, walk 3 miles a day. I've been told it takes 6 weeks to heal up and take it easy. I plan on getting back into my routine after that. As I am now, I usually feel great every day. What should I expect after I get the defibrillator? Should I expect to still good like I do now?

Daily life

by AgentX86 - 2021-01-09 19:09:50

You probably should have started a new thread but since we're here...

Light weightlifting?  If "light" is above 5lbs.  No, not for a month (ask your EP).

Walking?  As much as you feel like doing, as soon as you feel like it.  The day after I got home (I was in overnight) I was doing my normal walking routine (more than 3mi).  I did find that walking caused the weight of my arm to put a lot painful stress on my shoulder.  I bought a sling on Amazon (next day delivery), which I used for a week or two while I was walkingDo not use a sling all day.  You'll need to move your arm as normally as possible (within the restrictions you'll be given) or you risk frozen shoulder.  This will be far more painful than the surgery ever could be.  Don't go there.

Exercise and PM

by Keithwhelpley - 2021-01-10 13:44:18

I have a dual chamber PM and I prescribed to much of the advice others have provided. 

But I need to remind all PM recipients that they need to be completely tuned into their bodies -- more so than before. The reason is that there are serious conditions that will arise from a perfectly-functioning pacemaker under the guidance of good doctors. And they may arise months or years after the implant. 

Two years after my implant I began having deadly ventricular tachycardia induced by my very own perfectly-functioning PM. We finally discovered it was because of a setting. Had I not had an ICD, I would  be dead.  But all of this came amid my insistence that something wasn't right. But every time the doctor said my PM was functioning as it should. Of course it was. But the setting was wrong for me. 

Now, three years after my implant, I'm experiencing shortness of breath that keeps me awake some nights. Again, all this comes as my device is functioning as it should.  Furthermore, my PM does not pace me at all in either chamber. 

This current situation, however, doesn't need pacing to cause problems, yet it is a device-mediated problem. This time, it's the lead that passes through the tricuspid valve to get to the apex of the ventricle. It is interfering or damaging the valve, causing a regurgitation, which explains my shortness of breath.  

Two  things to know here is the problem can surface years after implant. And like other PM-mediated problems it can present a set of distracting symptoms to the doctor. I'm this most recent case my EP thought I should get my lungs checked because my PMwas functioning as it should. 

The point to all this is to tune into everything your body is telling you and always make the device the first place to look, whether it is functioning as it should or not 


by Tracey_E - 2021-01-11 11:27:07

Some doctors are overly conservative in restrictions for us. Either they are old school or don't have many younger, active patients so just don't have experience to feel comfortable encouraging strenuous activity. Most, however, do not restrict exercise once we are fully healed. Some counsel against very heavy weight or pull ups, but many are ok with that also. My doctor knows I do Crossfit and actively encourages it. I've been paced 25+ years, have been doing CF for 10 of that. My leads are fine. Can you get a second opinion? Was he worried that you might do damage in the future or that you've already done damage? I wouldn't just accept it. If you can do it and feel good, you don't feel pressure on the box or leads when you do your routine, I would push back. 

You know you're wired when...

You have a new body part.

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My pacemaker is the best thing that every happened to me, had I not got it I would not be here today.