After undergoing pacemaker implantation surgery, or any other device implantation procedure, it’s important to help prevent any, albeit rare, post-surgery implantation complications.
Your surgeon will most likely give you some guidelines on when to ease back into normal activities and how to reduce the chance of having a surgical site infection. Here are a few tips on how you can lessen
your post-surgical discomfort and have a more successful pacemaker surgery recovery.
Be observant of your incision site
You can possibly develop a local infection where the pacemaker was implanted. This may occur within the first year of your implantation. If you start to have a fever above 101F, see redness at the site that doesn’t go away, or experience increasing pain at the incision site, contact your physician as soon as possible. You will be most likely be given a round of antibiotics, or you may need to have your pacemaker replace. An untreated infection can spread into through your body and cause illness such as pneumonia, endocarditis, or sepsis.
Avoid Twiddler’s syndrome
It can feel odd to have this new medical device underneath your skin so you may start fiddle with the pacemaker generator without realizing it. This is called Twiddler’s syndrome and can cause your pacemaker to malfunction. You could pull the leads out of position, stop pacing your heart, and then cause your arm to twitch. If this occurs, contact your physician. It may need to be repositioned in a place where it can’t be manipulated.
Be aware of how your body is feeling in general
You may develop sepsis from the leads of your pacemaker, but not necessarily at the incision site. The symptoms include a higher heart rate (greater than 90 BPM), as well as an increased breathing rate. If you experience the symptoms of sepsis, contact your doctor immediately. You could also develop blood clots, which can cause swelling your arm. This may dissipate in a few days. If it doesn’t, contact your physician who will most likely prescribe you blood thinners. Another possible complication is an air leak in the lung. This occurs when during the pacemaker implantation procedure, the lung is accidentally punctured causing a pneumothorax, also known as a collapsed lung. Usually, this is not a serious condition and a small pneumothorax can heal on its own. If you experience sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, contact your physician.
Make sure to take precautions with your pacemaker
To ensure your pacemaker continues to work properly, you’ll need to make sure to prevent electrical interference with items such as cell phones, security systems, medical equipment, and power-generating equipment.
As you’re healing from your implantation surgery, you may be adjusting to a new medical device in your body. BODHE Therapeutic Medical Apparel can help you not only make living with a pacemaker more comfortable but also can accelerate healing your incision site. This innovative apparel can help keep your medical device in place while you start getting back to your daily activities.