Return to cycling after having pacemaker fitted

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Joined: 10 Nov 2014, 12:05pm

Return to cycling after having pacemaker fitted

Postby daccordimark » 13 Jun 2018, 8:23pm

Not sure if anyone on here has experience of these things but I had a pacemaker fitted about eight weeks ago and started riding again two weeks ago.
The pacemaker is there to help with bradycardia and second degree heart block and by all accounts is a clever device that is designed for cyclists and other "athletes" who don't move much when exercising. It monitors all sorts of physiological happenings in the body to help it decide when to boost your heart rate.

My issue is that it sends my heart rate sky high at the merest hint of pedalling! At the moment I'm riding with absolutely no effort involved, breathing through my nose (not typical for me) at well less than 10mph just to keep my HR below the pacemaker's maximum rate of 150bpm. I can't help but feel that a few months of this and my heart will be worn out.

Does anyone have any knowledge about how these rate adaptive pacemakers (mine's a Biotronik one with CLS) work and whether they settle down after a while? I'm going to call the hospital tomorrow to get their view but thought it would be handy to have some real-life experiences from other cyclists as well.

Thanks in advance,

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Joined: 12 Dec 2016, 8:51pm

Re: Return to cycling after having pacemaker fitted

Postby softlips » 15 Jun 2018, 8:16pm

The Biotronik system uses closed loop stimulation rather than traditional accelerometers for rate responce.

I used to work for Biotronik in pacing, however this was in the early days of CLS and things may have changed since then. THEN, remember things may have changed, it took the CLS system a while to work out how to optimise rate responce. That said, I remember several patients who had previously had other devices implanted found the rate responce of the CLS devices to be superior.

Did you tell the dr and cardiac physiologists that you planned to cycle. It may be that the device needs programming to allow an appropriate responce with such excercise.

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Joined: 11 Jan 2019, 5:17pm

Re: Return to cycling after having pacemaker fitted

Postby ken_matheson » 11 Jan 2019, 5:27pm

Hi Mark,
I've only just spotted this post and wonder if you've made any progress with your pacemaker settings?
I had a Biotronik pacemaker fitted in December 2017, to cope with bradycardia and sick sinus syndrome (sinus node dysfunction). It's set for CLS rate adaption too and I had the help of Biotronik experts in the set up.
I have very mixed experiences with it. How are you getting on now?