Long-term recovery time after pacemaker implantation can take several weeks, but short-term recovery typically takes only a few days, according to Brigham and Women's Hospital. Most patients return home the same day as the procedure or the following day.
Once the patient goes home, he may still need to take pain medication and restrict high-stress physical activities for several weeks to reduce the risk of displacing the pacemaker leads. Generally considered a safe procedure, pacemaker implantation involves making an incision in the chest, inserting a pacemaker system and attaching the leads inside the heart. After the surgery, the incision site may temporarily swell or feel painful to the touch, reports the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.