Pacemaker post op experience

Hello, I'm new here and new to this whole pacemaker thing. Just curious if anyone has had experience with shortness of breath after surgery and if it goes away? It's not severe and I'm not sure if I'm even imagining it. My original surgery for installation was on April 3rd, but they had to go back and do a lead revision last Thursday April 20th. 
I had a lot of shortness of breath while one of the leads wasn't attached properly and now I'm somewhat paranoid of any shortness of breath.  Plus could this be related to pain medication withdrawals? I read that Tylenol and Oxy Codone can result in shortness...

I also have had this throbbing soreness/ pain in the left upper arm muscle. I mentioned it to my cardiologist and he brushed me off, saying that it's because I had immobilized that arm/ shoulder and it's no big deal. Well,I'm tired of this arm being so sore... anyone else experience this? He said there's nothing you can about it, just give it time.

I always been been a gym rat and I would like to get back there asap when restrictions are lifted. Maybe then the soreness will go away.

Anyway, any input would be appreciated!


Hi and welcome aboard!

by Lavender - 2023-04-23 10:39:49

It's still so early in your healing. Having had the extra complication of a lead revision, you've got to be traumatized. I wonder if anxiety is contributing to your shortness of bread. I'm sure you're aware of meditative breathing:

A quick description: Patients breathe in through the nostrils and then slowly breathe out through slightly pursed lips, creating some airflow resistance. In this way, exhalation lasts two to three times longer than inhalation. Some people find it helpful to count to two while inhaling and to four or six while exhaling.

You could benefit from therapeutic massage as well as soon as your doctor okays it.  My arm was sore for about two years and still acts up. I go twice a month for massage from a licensed masseuse.  I think I went there first about five weeks after I got my pacemaker, after my cardiologist approved that.  

I take no medicine due to reactions from so many.  I only take vitamin D3.  But, rarely, I take Tylenol. I have to take it early in the day or it keeps me up at night.  I was surprised by that, but my cardiologist said that Tylenol does the same to them.  

Don't keep your arm in the sling, move it. Just keep your elbow below the shoulder.  Ice packs really help me...especially when alternating ice with heat. 20 minutes of icing...20 minutes break...20 minutes of heating pad.   Repeat often.  

How you feel today is not how it's going to be long term.  I think around seven months after getting my CRT-P pacemaker... I noticed that I was feeling really good.  Hang in will be back in the gym soon.  


Thank you!

by FloridaTed - 2023-04-23 12:23:27

Lavender, Thank you so much for the advice and comments! 

Short of breath?

by skigrl3 - 2023-04-23 20:37:35

Hi Fluoridated. The shirt answer yes yes yes. I have always been pretty athletic so it took me by surprise and I was sure it wasn't going to end well for me. I couldn't walk more than a few feet. Especially those first 2 weeks and I told no one. Around week 4 I started getting energy back and from that point on, all good. Best of luck to you, as others on this site will confirm, it does get better. I am grateful that I found this forum. Take care.

Thank you

by FloridaTed - 2023-04-28 21:47:34

Thank you skigirl, I appreciate the input and I'm glad you got your energy back after a short while.

I'm looking forward to feeling normal and being normal soon!


You know you're wired when...

Your signature looks like an EKG.

Member Quotes

My pacemaker has ultimately saved mine and my unborn child’s life for which I am thankful.