Helping your heart maintain a constant rhythm, a pacemaker is implanted under your skin. This small electronic device treats distressing symptoms like arrhythmia, improving your heart’s function. To insert your pacemaker, your cardiologist will make an incision on your skin. This will create a pocket where they’ll place the pacemaker.
After the procedure, you’ll have to limit some activities. Moreover, you’ll have to keep the insertion site dry and clean. This Is not where it ends, though, as there are certain things you can’t do with a pacemaker. But what exactly are you supposed to avoid with a pacemaker? Carry on reading to find out.
What are the Things You Can’t Do or Use with a Pacemaker?
Many people believe that modern home appliances like microwave ovens will interfere with pacemakers. However, that is not the case. You just need to take special precautions with specific devices to avoid electromagnetic interference with your pacemaker. These devices are:
1. Cellular Phones
One of the things you can’t do with a pacemaker is: keeping your cellular phone close to the device. Hence, hold the phone at least 6 inches away from the pacemaker. Otherwise, it might affect its function.
Just like cellphones, magnets can affect the pacemaker’s function if they’re within a 6-inch radius. Therefore, avoid getting more than 6 inches close to a magnet to prevent problems.
3. Anti-Theft Detectors
Anti-theft detectors in stores generate electromagnetic signals when you walk through them. However, this safety measure might momentarily interfere with your pacemaker. Thus, walk through the sensor in a normal manner, making sure not to stop or pause. If you keep moving, you are not likely to experience any problems.
4. Radiation Therapy
Cancer patients undergo radiation therapy to treat their condition. But the powerful radiation might damage the circuits of your pacemaker. Therefore, your pacemaker would need a shield if you need radiation therapy.
5. Arc Welders & Chainsaws
Using arc welders and chainsaw is another thing you can’t do with a pacemaker. They’re powerful enough to disturb the function of your pacemaker. Thus, refrain from using this equipment if you have a pacemaker.
Do Any Medical Procedures Affect a Pacemaker?
Other than radiation therapy, there are a few medical procedures that can affect your pacemaker. These include:
Things to Avoid Immediately After You Get a Pacemaker
There are some things you can’t do with a pacemaker immediately after your doctor puts it in. They’ll provide you the pacemaker precautions, like:
- Getting the incision site wet until your doctor says it’s ok
- Wearing clothes that are tight over the incision site or prevent skin irritation.
- Stretching your arms overhead or leaning on them and other excessive physical activities
- Rubbing the chest area close to or around the pacemaker
- Lifting heavy objects, particularly on the side with a pacemaker. These may include pets and heavy bags
- Driving unless the doctor says it’s ok
- Operating heavy machinery until your doctor gives their ok
What Should I Do?
There are a few things you can’t immediately do with a pacemaker after you get it. Still, you won’t have to make significant lifestyle changes. Your doctor can give the restrictions for pacemaker patients. Our Memorial Cardiology Associates team can help. You can contact us at: