AF Association
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Post pacemaker operation - how soon back to sport?

Hi all

I had to have a pacemaker fitted last Thursday for heart block. It was a bit of a shock because they rung me on the Monday and got me straight in.

I am a competative amateur cyclist and normal for me is on my bike most days, the advise from consultant and electrophysiologist has been confusing to say the least - obviously concerned with usual advise about not putting your arm up above shoulder hight for 4 - 6 weeks - i get that - i dont want to pull the wires out.

Are there any atheletes amongst you that can tell me your experiences of how quickly you got back to your sport please.

My arm and wound site are pretty sore - but my legs are fine!


4 Replies

Hi dizzykaz

As I think has been said before, it's really important to ask your medical advisors such an important question,

What I would say is that if it was pushing your body to the limit that caused the condition you now have, why would that change? and do you really expect the pacemaker to simply compensate?

It''s relatively common for competitive cyclists and ultra marathon runners to suffer from AF even from a relatively young age, and whilst yes they can often be put back into NSR, continuing to do what put them there? Maybe that's not so sensible.

Dr John, a fairly famous EP (and competitive cyclist) says a lot here

I think you may have some tough decisions to make and I wish you well.



Thanks bean counter - fair point. I shall read the article.

Surely not doing something my sport at any level - would be worse case scenario and one that drs would try and advoid?

Every dr i have talked to have said i can still cycle - what is not clear is how soon and that information had been conflicting and that is why i would like to here from atheletes that have been through this.


Also check out Cycling to Extremes on Velo News ( as well as both very interesting if you are associated with AF and endurance sports!


Cycling at what intensity? I know when I go up certain hills on my bike I really push the limits on my HR. Last week pushed it too much and hit 223 . Had to stop the bike. After letting my heart get back into rhythm,headed home at a much slower pace.


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