Twin lead pacemaker

Hi all 

I was wondering life span with a twin wire pacemaker also can you live a normal life or do you have to be careful what you do ie can you go swimming or walking I'm only 57 years old and have had a new mechanical heart valve now I need a twin wire pacemaker done for my af the ablation operations I have had,have not worked I would appreciate any advice off someone that has had this done 

Thankyou Haz 



by AgentX86 - 2021-08-07 17:25:11

Lifetime? Of the pacemaker? Nominally 10 years.  I have the same setup as you do (though Medtronic). I had three-years on the odometer and the miles-to-empty said eight. Of course that's only a guess.

Of you? None of us know how long we're going to live (estate lawers would be out of buisness). Your pacemaker doesn't change anything.  The reason you need one might but the fact that you do need one doesn't. Rather it allows you to live your life, longer, better, and probably both.

Getting on with your life? There in little you can't do.  Swimming isn't an issue as long as you can get your PM set up right.  Leisure swimming shouln't be a problem (haven't tried).

Walking is absolutely no problem.  As I said, I'm in a very similar situation - AV/His ablation and 2-lead CRT-P. Until my recent (three weeks) auto accident, I was walking 10mi every day. I figure I'm out of it for another five to seven weeks, then I'll right back at it.

There are a few things you can't or should't do.  Deep diving is out.  Most PMs  are only good to 10atm, IIRC. Full contact sports ih highly frowned upon. There is a chance of lead breakage and you're not going to want to take a shot directly to the PM.  From what I hear, you won't forget it.

More life, fewer limitations

by Gotrhythm - 2021-08-07 18:48:42

Instead of worrying about limitations, think about the life your pacemaker will support you in living. Although there are some activities you'll want to approach with caution like welding, scuba diving, contact sports, there's nothing that I know of that's completely off the table. We have members who weld, etc. All the usual leisure activites, swimming, running, walking, hiking, making love, roughhousing with the kids, bicycling, riding roller coasters, are things you can do without ever giving a thought to your pacemaker.

At 57, you're relatively young. If there's a sport you like to pursue, particularly if you want to compete, be sure to tell your cardiologist about your interests. All pacemaker fundamentally do the same things,and are fairly interchangeable, but certain pacemakers will support some activities like swimming and biking better. 


Most activities are fine!

by Elisabet - 2021-08-07 18:53:06

One thing I'd like to add is that how long the pacemaker lasts depends on what you need it for and how often it's being used. Mine initially was needed less than 1% of the time, and they told me it would last a decade. Unfortuneately I progressed to needing it full-time, so it's firing on every beat now. My pacemaker's expected life fell to eight or so years. Every interrogration report will have an estimated remaining battery life number which is based on your usage patterns.

About battery replacement: I had to have a pocket revision a year or a year and half in, where my pacemaker device was reseated and put deeper and more securely. So, not a battery replacement, but pretty similar from my end. It was a piece of cake compared to the initial placement, since they don't have to place the leads. The device is right under your skin so they just unplug the old and plug in the new, using the leads that are already there, stich you up, and done. Not that the initial surgery was bad, as such things go. The hard part was observing the movement restrictions for my arm while it healed completely, because it felt like it was good to go before I actually was. 

Depending on why you need a pacemaker and the brand and model you get, and what you do, there may be some activities where the motion for your chest area is a little too smooth for the device's motion sensors and your pulse might not increase as much as it need to. There are tricks and settings for dealing with that that are discussed at length in other posts. If you are naturally paced, like I am, it's generally not an issue at all, although your EP may need to change some settings. For instance, when I first got the pacemaker, everything was left on default because I didn't need it except for a few seconds at a time once in a long while. When that changed, the EP had to raise my maximum rate and make some other changes so that my ventricles wouldn't top out at too low a rate even though my upper heart was firing at the faster rate my body wanted it to. 

Bottom line, there are very few restrictions that affect even the most active people, and battery replacement is nothing to worry about. Having the pacemaker is going to make your life and health much better in the meantime. 

Normal lifr

by Theknotguy - 2021-08-07 19:06:44

I went back to a better-than-normal pre-pacemaker life.  I had a better and stronger heartbeat so I felt better and was able to do more.  Oh, and I have a dual lead with a Medtronic pacemaker.  

The biggest thing I ran into was the amount of mis-information that is out there that gets repeated over and over.  No check being done to see if the information is accurate or not, just repeat it and go on.  Things like your pacemaker will be affected by your cell phone, TV towers, cell phone towers, store security systems and the like.  When I left the hospital with my  pacemaker I was given a "warning" sheet.  It had ten items on the sheet.  Four were completely wrong and the other six were partially wrong.  

I had my pacemaker for five years and was talking with a hospital rehab person.  She said there was a lifetime limit of lifting 47 pounds on the side with the pacemaker.  I really called that into question as I had been moving 4x8 3/4 inch wood sheets at 55 pounds each.  No problems.

Then literally walked down three flights of stairs and talked with the security guard who finally broke a lead doing 300 pound bench presses.  He said he knew he was pushing the limits and wasn't surprised he broke a lead.  I've grabbed a live 110 volt power cord, walked through security gates, and even drilled a hundred or so holes while my pacemaker was lying on top of a running drill.  No problems.  Never had a problem with store security systems, cell phone towers, ham radio systems, tv towers and the like.  

I did run into a problem five years out.  I had increased my exercise and was running out of air.  Talked with my EP, had some tests, and needed to have my rate response changed.  My pacemaker wasn't keeping up with my activity.  Once I got that changed I could do what I wanted without running out of air.  That's been my limit with my pacemaker so far.  Otherwise I can do what I like.  

Life is what you make of it.  So your first thoughts shouldn't be how will your pacemaker limit you as it probably won't.  Just go out and do your thing.  There's a lot of living to do and the pacemaker will help you do it.  

I would move forward with confidence

by Gemita - 2021-08-07 19:21:57

Hello Haz, are you getting nervous and do you have a date for your AV Node ablation?  If I recall correctly, your doctors have recommended a CRT device, one lead to the left and one lead to the right ventricle.

My immediate thoughts are that you will be in a better place without your fast AF heart rates getting through to affect your ventricles.  Uncontrolled heart rates could lead very quickly to other difficulties including heart failure symptoms and your prognosis would then be poorer.  Instead with an AV Node ablation and synchronised ventricular pacing I feel you will have a better chance of leading a quality, and more active life.  As AgentX86 says, the life of our device before battery change is around 7-10 years on average, although this may be different for a CRT pacemaker, so I would ask your doctors.  The leads apparently are generally much longer lasting.  

How long will you live? That is more difficult to answer Haz but I cannot see your CRT pacemaker shortening your life, whereas I could see “uncontrolled” AF reducing quality of life and longevity.

I am sure you will be able to go swimming and enjoy many activities once the 6 week period of healing is complete,  I would take it very easy to begin with until you feel more comfortable.  Good luck Haz

live your life

by Tracey_E - 2021-08-08 14:39:06

There is nothing I want to do that I cannot. I'm 54 but have been paced since 1994. I hike, ski, kayak, do Crossfit, ride roller coasters, love ropes courses and ziplining. Once we heal, we can forget it and get on with our  life. 

You know you're wired when...

You have a dymo-powered bike.

Member Quotes

It is just over 10 years since a dual lead device was implanted for complete heart block. It has worked perfectly and I have traveled well near two million miles internationally since then.