Post Surgery for t-shirt wearing gal

So I live in t-shirts. They are cheap and comfortable. I don't really own any other kind of shirt that I would consider comfortable for recuperation. They are planning to implant a CRT-D on Oct 22. Do I spend the next month learning how to put on a t-shirt one  handed without lifting my left arm?  This will be my first experience with a cardiac device. 
Thanks in advance for any insights. 


T-shirt donning

by Julros - 2021-09-29 03:34:28

It won't be too tough, although you might want to practice with a loose fitting shirt to begin. I wear a lot of t shirts too. 

Start by slipping the shirt onto the arm that will be limited, mostly likely your left arm. Pull it up as far as you can, then pull it over your head. Then finally, slip your unrestricted arm into it's side and then pull the shirt down. Take it off in the reverse order. By starting with the affected arm, you should be able to get your shirts on and off without raising your arm above your head. 

This is how someone with a stroke is taught to don shirts; you dress the affected side first. 

You tube video

by Gemita - 2021-09-29 04:30:54

Hello Stevi,

What an important question and helpful answer from Julros.  I attach a You Tube video (once you have skipped the ads) which shows us how to put on and take off a t-shirt (after shoulder surgery but still useful to show us how it is done).

I wouldn't spend the next month keeping the pacemaker side arm restricted during routine dressing because that could quickly lead to stiffness and worse, frozen shoulder but do keep practising how to put on/take off a t-shirt and get yourself ready for your recovery.  I send my best wishes for a successful outcome

t shirts

by new to pace.... - 2021-09-29 06:30:35

So you do not have to worry. Go to a resale clothing shop.  Buy a couple of   button front tops. Cost so much less than a new one.  So much easier that worring about going over your head.

You can then after re-donate them to where you purchased them.

I did that when i had to purchase pull up shorts and slacks. 


by Tracey_E - 2021-09-29 09:20:02

I was told to stick to button up for the first week. If you do a tshirt, make sure it's good and loose. 

The Joy of Recovery

by MinimeJer05 - 2021-09-29 11:22:08

As most have stated, you can totally get the job done with a T-shirt, but advised to stick with button ups for the first week or so.

I ended up buying a few cheap (but really comfy) zip up hoodies to wear around the house. I also bought a few button ups for when I need to go out. I didn't buy anything fancy and I too am a T-shirt person, but for the time being, it works.

I am going to switch back to my T-shirts on Monday and I cannot wait.

Just take it slow and if something feels wrong or overly painful, maybe stop and pivot to a button up?

Small price to pay for a life-saving device!

Take care 


Clothing post-op

by Persephone - 2021-09-29 18:41:10

Best wishes for your surgery next month!  I loved the feel of a soft long sleeve tee that I had, so I sliced it up the middle to make a "cardigan".  I could step into a cami to wear underneath - no need to pull it overhead.  Zip hoodies work great too, as others have pointed out.

White T's

by Stache - 2021-10-19 20:20:06

I sleep in T-shirts all the time as well and it was a piece of cake to slip on and off a clean T-shirt every night.  I used white T-shirts as I bleed and ended up with a severe infection that soiled my T-shirts.  Nothing that a little bleach couldn’t fix.

My advice is to go with what you are comfortable with for me it was T-shirts to each their own.

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