Anyone had a pacemaker placed on the right side?

Hi there. New to this group and am scheduled for a pacemaker in 2 days on Friday, October 29th. I am 49 and this is my first pacemaker. I live in Lafayette, Louisiana.

I am curious if anyone here has had their pacemaker placed on the right side before. My electrophysiologist is recommending this due to me being left hand dominant. I have extreme confidence is my doctor and his reasoning, but it means a longer lead wire I would think.

Also, I do go hunting on occasion and sure don't want to damage the pacer.

So hoping I feel better very soon.

Thank you for this wonderful support group.




Right sided placement of device

by Gemita - 2021-10-28 06:44:10

Hello CeeJaye,

Firstly, welcome and I hope your procedure goes very well tomorrow.  

You may care to copy and paste the following old Pacemaker Club links into your browser and read about members who have had either left or right sided device implants and the reasons why.  Quite interesting.  There even seems to have been a Poll done on this some time ago and perhaps I can ask Tracey_E to kindly let us have the results if Poll results are still available?

I was asked before I had my implant whether I was right or left handed.  My doctors placed my implant on the left side when I told them I was right handed.  My husband is left handed but they still placed his implant on the left side.  The left side is closer to the heart so is often the side of implant choice.  The device can be placed on the right side if say old leads or infection in the future necessitate device repositioning, or we enjoy activities (playing a musical instrument or hunting in your case) where device placement position would be an important consideration.

left or right

by new to pace.... - 2021-10-28 07:34:40

Now this is late for information for you,  you might see really how much you use your right hand .  Am right handed but use my left for ironing, vacumming, unloading the dishwasher.  Reach for door knobs. Carry the grocery bags. Pick things off the floor.  You might see which hand you use to pull up the zipper in the back,  This is just a few that i realize i use my left hand for.  Did not realize until i could not use my right hand  and wondered..  Than i realized i used my left hand more than my right.  Was quite surprised as my left arm is shorter than my right. 

You do realize you use your right hand in your car to start it,move the gears reach to turn the radio on and off. 

new to pace


by cardifflass - 2021-10-28 07:55:13

I target shoot and used to use a shot gun.  Not at the moment as I go with my husband and he has shoulder problems.

My PM is on the left and at the same point that I would rest the rifle butt.  I use downloaded ammunition, but for hunting, even with a padded jacket you would certainly get sore.

What does your local hunting group say?  Possibly a question to ask on a different forum.

Does your surgeon know you hunt?

which side

by Tracey_E - 2021-10-28 09:52:45

Once you heal, it doesn't matter much which side it's on.... unless you shoot a shotgun or play violin. You don't want the butt of a shotgun or rifle directly on your device. 

Right sided pacer

by Julros - 2021-10-28 10:35:46

Mine is placed on the right because I am left-handed. The wires feed into the right side of the heart so I don't see that means are wires are longer. The shooting issue could be of concern, so I would definitely bring it up with your EP. Even after 2 years my site is still sensitive and I can't imagine holding a gun against it. 

Left or Right

by doublehorn48 - 2021-10-28 11:13:28

I'm left handed.  My first pacers were put on my right side.  In 2008 the doctor putting in the pacer said that mine was on the right side because of the gun issue, but that wasn't a problem, I could shoot a gun and not have a problem with my pacer.  I now have my pacers on the left side.  BUT it seems if you are going to shoot a gun with a recoil you would not want it close to the pacer.  The leads are the problem, that's what will get hit and could be damaged.  I'm not a doctor but if I hunted, I wouldn't want the pacer on my left side.

Dominant arm

by AgentX86 - 2021-10-28 12:08:16

Yes, the pacer is often put opposite the dominant arm rather than on the left side.  If you shoot rifles or shotguns, you don't want the butt anywhere near your leads.  Recoil, even on the pacer itself is going to hurt like hell (and compromise the leads).

There is no real reason not to put it on the right side.  The leads just travel a little different path to get to the RA.  It's not a big deal.

where should it go

by new to pace.... - 2021-10-28 15:25:07

The only thing that was mentioned to me was which ever side this was placed that shoulder could not be replaced.  

So was glad on the left side for me as had the right replaced.

new to pace

Pick sides

by ROBO Pop - 2021-10-28 20:08:26

I had mine placed on the wrong side...

Seriously I have had ICD's on both the left and right side, made absolutely no difference to me. Golf swing didn't improve. However if you are an avid shooter you should let your EP know which shoulder you use. Coming up on a 4th device and you don't want to know where my EP told me to stick it. 

robo pop - Soo funny

by Tulp - 2021-10-28 20:30:22

You are so funny Robo pop

Ceejaye, hope you ll'be fine tomorrow

My PM on right side

by Trillium - 2021-10-28 21:05:59

Although I'm right handed, I shoot a rifle left handed.  My EP didn't want to risk damaging leads from the kick, so the PM is on the right.  Rather than leads going straight to RA, they loop over the top.  No difference for me, but more of a challenge for the surgeon.

Loop over the top

by AgentX86 - 2021-10-28 23:23:14

I'm not sure what this means but as pointed out earlier, leads go to the RA.  The leads for a left-implanted PM go from the left sub-clavian vein to the heart.  A PM implanted on the right, would simply use the right subclavian vein. The body is pretty symmetrical, here. 

It's actually a shorter path from the PM to the RA on the right side.   I think the reason that most of us have it on the left  is because most of us are right-handed.  It doesn't really matter to the PM. If there is a reason to do otherwise, make sure your EP knows it.

Thank you all for the info!

by CeeJaye - 2021-10-29 00:35:43

It's great to have such a great support group and wealth of information. I really did think a lot about what I do most with each arm and am pretty ambidextrous. I'll be going ahead with it on my right side as most of my activity involves left handed use of my arm. Bowling and my softball glove hand might be affected but honestly it's been a while since I've done either. Looking forward to feeling better. It's been years that I have been dealing with this low heart rate.


Left or right side?

by Selwyn - 2021-10-29 11:39:18

I am left handed. I was going to get my PM on the right and then just prior to surgery changed my mind ( they had to turn around all the OR equipment and place it on the other side!) Why the left side for left handed?

The reason was driving. As I am the driver ( UK) , the seat belt misses the pacemaker. The same cannot be said as a passanger and this can cause discomfort as I have virtually no subcutaneous -fat.

As for shooting- what a pain. I tried a shotgun for clay shooting once and it was so uncomfortable.  I will not be shooting again. 

I don't think normal activity makes any difference to the site. At the end of the day where you situate your pacemaker depends on your life style, and whether you mind it being visible ( it can always be situated around the side of the chest). Some people feel very self conscious of having a lump on their front.


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