Recovery, week 2ish

Hello again,

I apologize if I am making an issue for perhaps no reason at all, but I have questions about my recovery from my lead revision 13 days ago, to my initial pacemaker surgery on April 3rd. 

I have been feeling pretty strong and getting much better but since yesterday I feel a bunch of soreness and pain on my shoulder upper arm and a lot of stiffness around the incision location. Is it normal to feel such stiffness ? I met with the cardiologist team last week and they said it's healing well  and everything is fine and I don't need to see them or anyone, just let the healing take pace over the next 6 weeks. 
So is it normal to just let my body get better and there's nothing else to do? Has anyone else had such stiffness and it goes away by itself?

it feels so uncomfortable, I can't just ignore this for another 6 weeks...

Any input about your experience would be appreciated.

thank you 


My Post-implant Experience

by JiminyC - 2023-05-03 21:33:45

My pacemaker was implanted on the morning of April 21. The procedure didn't involve any complications, and I felt better immediately -- that very afternoon. I slept poorly the first night, as it was a bit painful to turn, and I don't usually sleep on my back. The next day, things were better, although on days 3 and 4 soreness set in on my shoulder and upper left chest area, but nothing I couldn't deal with. I never wore a sling, as my doctor told me that it was better to keep my joints moving -- just no lifting anything heavy and no stretching my left arm above my shoulder height. The soreness quickly dissapated after day 4, and I've had no discomfort since then. 


by FloridaTed - 2023-05-04 06:48:58

Thank you for the input and stretching advice. 
So the sore shoulder/ arm is one thing to address with stretching, but can anything be done with the stick incision site? It feels like my skin is clamped down and it's so stiff. Hopefully it gets more pliable over time?

have a great day!


An uncomfortable surgical wound

by Gemita - 2023-05-04 07:35:40

Hello Ted, to answer your main question, yes most of us do need to wait at least 6 weeks for wound healing to take place following implant.  Some members find icing helps, some find warmth helps to ease the discomfort of an initial tight surgical wound.  Heat was more helpful for me.  My wound area felt very taut for up to 6-8 weeks I recall.  I had pulling and sharp sensations coming from the area too.  

Until the wound is completely closed (sealed) they don’t usually recommend putting anything on the wound like moisturisers to soften the skin in case of contamination through the wound incision and the risk for an infection.  The area needs to be kept clean and dry at all times during the healing process.

I would ask your general doctor for advice on a “safe moisturizer” that you could use as soon as your wound is well healed?  In the meantime I would keep some padding over the wound to prevent any rubbing/irritation to the area.  This will help relieve some discomfort.   Remember you have had a lead revision too so soon after your original implant, so double the discomfort.

I note that your Clinic confirmed that your wound "was healing well", so you can feel reassured.  Just keep an eye on it for any increased swelling, inflammation or oozing and report this if it occurs, otherwise I would leave well alone and let Mother nature take care of the rest. I hope you feel more comfortable soon

Hi and a hug

by Lavender - 2023-05-04 10:44:50

Sorry things are so uncomfortable for you. I'm of the mind though, that this is normal. You had a lot of work done in there. Remember my suggestion to see a massage therapist? Please ask your cardiologist if it's ok now for you to have a licensed therapist massage that arm and shoulder. My gal never touches my pacemaker area but has gotten the arm much more limber. 

I am a fan of ice and heat. Twenty minutes of one followed by a twenty minute rest then twenty minutes of the other. Be sure to have a towel between the ice and your skin. 

Nothing is to be put directly on the surgery wound site without the permission of your doctor. 

Just keep moving. Roll your shoulders one way forward then roll then backwards off and on. 

What you're experiencing has happened to many of us as we heal. Don't be alarmed. Get outside more too and walk. It's good mentally and physically.  How you feel will improve in weeks to come. I honestly didn't completely feel ok for seven months 😵‍💫

You can do this. Remember those headphones and music or comforting tapes to get your mind diverted. ❤️‍🩹

More hopeful that this feeling isn’t forever

by FloridaTed - 2023-05-04 20:01:47

Thank you so much for making feel better that this wound won't be so stiff forever. I'm sticking with what I've been told medically... do not put any cream on it for 6 weeks, and don't get any messages for at least 6 weeks to 2 months. 
I've been moving around as much as I'm allowed...  But I think I did too much the other day and made things worse and more sore.... or it's just the process.

by the way, is it normal for them to close the wound with this medical glue and not stitches ? Is that why it's so stiff?

Today at work it was super uncomfortable because I had to wear a suit jacket for the whole day during meetings.... oh well.

thank you for the words!


by Lavender - 2023-05-04 21:01:25

I had dissolvable stitches underneath a glue top layer. Things felt much better once the glue wore off and the stitches dissolved. You're doing well. Suit and all. 🙃

I had to wait about 4-6 weeks for a massage. 


by FloridaTed - 2023-05-04 21:40:55

Lavender, glad to hear, I can't wait for the stitches and glue to breakdown.

Gemita, those are good ice/ heat suggestions and angry sparrow, I didn't think of the scar tissue. That's probably a lot of source of the pain/ soreness.

You are helping me a lot.


by new to pace.... - 2023-05-06 13:46:35

Once you are healed you might try acpuncture to help heal the scar tissues.  Worked for me.  As the others have said. Once the glue comes off your skin will not feel so tight.

new to pace

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