Some complications associated with pacemakers include bruising, swelling, bleeding or getting an infection at the implant site, explains Mayo Clinic. Pacemakers can also cause damage to the nerves or blood vessels near the device, and they may puncture the heart muscle.
Pacemaker complications may also emerge during surgery and include abnormal heart rhythms, bleeding or infection, according to MedlinePlus. Puncturing of the heart or lungs may also occur, although these problems are rare.
To minimize their risk of complications, patients should avoid engaging in strenuous activities, lifting items heavier than 10 pounds, pulling heavy objects and raising the arms above the shoulders, notes WebMD. Patients should also avoid activities that require excessive and aggressive arm movement, such as golfing, swimming or playing tennis. Patients should only resume these activities after receiving a doctor's approval.
Individuals with pacemakers should also avoid using items that can interfere with the function of the device, such as electric blankets, microwave ovens and heating pads, according to WebMD. Electronic devices with strong magnetic or electric fields, such as ham radios or resistance welders, should also be avoided. People with pacemakers must exercise caution when using cell phones by never placing them against the chest or carrying them on the same side as the pacemaker.