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Had a pacemaker installed and incision healing. What precautions to follow, can do little work?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I had a pacemaker installed about 48 hours ago. I'm home and feeling fine. I'm 75 years old but in good shape and not overweight. As long as I don't put any pressure on my left arm while the incision is healing and don't raise it above my shoulder, is there any reason I can't do any other normal activities such as help my wife around the house with little things like loading and unloading the dishwasher, for example? She maintains that I should only sit and read and not do anything.
Thanks for your help.
Posted Wed, 3 Jul 2013 in General Health
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 39 minutes later
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

There are some precautions to be observed after placement of a pace maker.
In general it is advised that in the first 3 months a person should not:
(1) lift more than 5 pounds on the affected side
(2)raise the affected arm over the shoulder or do any stretching movements to the side
(3)no heavy pushing or pulling
(4) avoid any circular movements involving the shoulder

You can do light house work like washing the dishes , loading the dishwasher one light dish at a time, cooking but should not do any heavy activities like overhead cleaning, lifting a laundry load or vacuuming

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Had a pacemaker installed and incision healing. What precautions to follow, can do little work? 23 minutes later
You wrote "You can do light house work like washing the dishes , loading the dishwasher one light dish at a time, cooking but should not do any heavy activities like overhead cleaning, lifting a laundry load or vacuuming"

How much time do I need to wait before I can vacuum or do the laundry, for example?

Thank you.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 16 minutes later
Hi

Vaccuuming is a problem because it might involve stretching out the arms and laundry because you might lift heavy loads, it may also involve some stretching.

In general any stretching should be restricted for at least 8 weeks to 12 weeks though some centers only restrict these activities for up to 6 weeks.

You may want to speak to your doctor regarding the protocol at your particular institution.

I hope this helps
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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