A patient who has undergone defibrillator surgery should expect to be in the hospital for one to two days after the procedure, and most patients can return to their normal activities a few days after surgery, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The doctor may ask the patient to refrain from heavy lifting or other high-impact activities for up to a month after the surgery.
For a few days or weeks after the surgery, a patient recovering from defibrillator surgery may experience pain, swelling or tenderness in the area of the defibrillator's insertion, reports the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The patient should follow his doctor's instructions for a pain-management plan.
During the four weeks following surgery, the doctor may ask the patient to avoid certain activities, explains the Mayo Clinic. These activities include above-the-shoulder exercises such as tennis, bowling, vacuuming, golf, bicycling and swimming. The doctor may also ask the patient to refrain from lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds and to stop playing any contact sports. The precautions determined by the doctor may vary with the patient, but the purpose of the precautions is for the patient to avoid further injury while healing after surgery.