Senior citizens are most susceptible to cardiovascular problems; therefore, it is natural to ponder over whether pacemaker surgery is a good idea for your elderly patient, considering their increased vulnerability to health issues. Studies reveal that there is no relative risk for the elderly during or after pacemaker surgery if the aftercare is good enough. So, if your loved one is about to get a heart pacemaker, this blog can be of help.
Is Getting a Pacemaker a Major Surgery?
As a layman, it is normal to consider a pacemaker surgery something major. Yes, indeed, it is life-altering, yet science classifies it as a minor surgical procedure. It typically lasts around 1-2 hours.
This procedure includes implantation of the pacemaker beneath the chest skin, eradicating the need for open-heart surgery. Patients are given local anesthesia, and in some cases, they might receive medications to ensure comfort or induce sleep.
What Is Pacemaker Surgery Recovery in the Elderly Like?
The recovery period after attachment of the pacemaker varies from one person to another. Some patients may get better within the first few days, while others might take several months for a full recovery.
In general, they are advised to take 3-7 days off work post-procedure. However, cardiologists may recommend an extended leave in case of concerns about the patient’s overall health. Usually, a follow-up checkup is set up for 4-6 weeks after D-day to assess and make any necessary adjustments, whereas subsequent appointments are mostly after 3-4 months.
There are some restrictions to follow during the recovery phase, which is for their own good. Patients must refrain from driving for at least 6 weeks and totally avoid touching the side where the surgery was done for 4-6 weeks. As for sports enthusiasts, their participation is discouraged for 4-6 weeks.
Precautions After Pacemaker Surgery
While it is highly unlikely for your pacemaker to be affected by electronic devices, it is important to take some precautionary measures:
It is not wise to keep your cell phone in your front shirt pocket. Place it at least 6 inches away from your pacemaker. Also, while using your phone, hold it to the ear opposite to the side where your pacemaker is.
Once you have the pacemaker in, certain medical procedures, like CT scans, MRIs, cancer radiation treatment, etc., can interfere with its performance. Make sure to always inform your doctor and dentist about your pacemaker before any procedures.
Maintaining a distance of at least 2 feet from motor-generator systems high-voltage transformers is a must. If your job requires you to be near such equipment, consult your doctor about conducting a test to assess any potential risks to your pacemaker.
Passing through a metal detector during a security screening does not affect your pacemaker. However, the metal in your pacemaker may set off the device itself. Therefore, to avoid any inconvenience, carry your medical ID card at all times.
Recovery after pacemaker surgery is not that difficult; you only have to adhere to certain instructions. At Atrial Fibrillation Centers of America, we make sure to deal with all aspects of your cardio needs. You can consult us at (832) 478-5067 or give us a visit at 13325 Hargrave Rd. Suite 280, Houston, TX 77070.