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Is pacemaker safe for a person who is 85?
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Is pacemaker safe for a person who is 85?

Hi,

My grandfather was digonised with syncopes. He was very fit until then. He is 85 years old. The symptoms are (he faints for a second or two and then he is back). A couple of doctors suggested to go for a pacemaker. I am trying to find out if there are any side effects to this. Also is it safe to go for it at this age.

Someone please let me know ASAP as his surgery is in 4 days.
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Well, my Dad is almost 80, has congestive heart failure and is not in good health. But he had his ICD (a defibrillator) replaced with a pacemaker recently. It's true - it was not quite as complicated as having the original unit put in. But it was still a cut and install.

Overall, the procedure is pretty quick. They put in the tiny wires to the heart, check for placement, make a small pocket in the skin (sometimes muscle too) on the upper chest and slide the unit in. Hook it up, test it, make little adjustments and sew him up. As with any procedure, there's the chance of infection. But he'll have clear instructions on what to do during the next week or two. And he'll have follow up appointments. The pacemaker would be helpful to keep him from the fainting spells. If he happens to do that while standing, he could easily fall and cause serious injury. Ask the doctors about this. If they weren't confident he could handle the procedure, I don't think they'd risk it.
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