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Kelly D. Caregiver

HeartMate III - Things you CANNOT do ever again


My dad just got his HeartMate 3 six days ago.  He obviously has a long road ahead of him, but I am trying to gather as much info and get things as ready as I can before he comes to live with me.  My dad is a jack of all trades - he was a cop, a machinist, pilot, can build anything etc.  My question for you all is, what can you absolutely NEVER do again because it is dangerous for the pump?  Aside from swimming and bathing of course.  Example: My dad loves working with metal.  I was told on another forum that welding is something that people with LVADS can never do again.  Can any of you "jack of all trades" people tell me what is on the never do again list?  I am assuming re-wiring electricity is also on the no-no list.  But I really have no clue.

Thank you,


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wayne r.

Hi Kelly

Firstly good luck to your dad.

As ex police in the UK with lots of other outside interest.

I still have done some minor mig welding with no adverse affects.

And he should still be able to do electrical work with the circuits isolated. 

With time he should be able to have a near on normal life.

I've had my lvad for 3 1/2 years now, and got back to what I consider normality took a good  9 to 10 months.

Again all the best to you and your family

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John C.

I’ve had my heart mate 11 for four years, I’m a jack of all trades, I’ve done a lot of welding and never had a problem, the only thing I can’t do is as you stated no swimming, I do go out in my boat fishing, playing golf, really haven’t found anything I can’t do other than swimming, shower once or twice a week, just use Press and Seal to tightly around body over sight and holster 2 times

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Larry B.

Haven’t found anything I can’t do other than swimming and taking a bath. Have had my HM3 for a little over two years now. I’ve heard of people hang gliding and parachuting with no problems. It is whatever you make of it. If one wants to feel sorry for themselves they will not be very active. If on the other hand they grasps this second chance life can be great. 

Stay away from too many message boards. There are people that think you should only sit in front of the tv all day and feel sorry for themselves. There are people that say showering will lead to infections that will kill you. Well, I shower every morning and have not even had a sniff of an infection. I just cover my wound with tegaderm and I’m good to go. There are people that will tell you not to ride roller coasters. Nonsense. They will say that playing golf puts too much stress n the driveline. Nonsense. I was back to playing twice a week four months after my surgery.

it sounds like he has led a pretty productive life pre surgery. No reason he won’t be even more productive now.the more he walks the faster his recovery will be.

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In reply to by Larry B.

june B.

Hi Larry,

I have had my Heartmate 3 since November 2017 and have been able to shower since my incision healed. I have never covered my driveline site and have had a couple of mild infections. I would like to try the tegaderm you mentioned in your post. What size and kind do you use? Where do you get it? I went to the 3M website and saw so many choices that I could not figure it out. Thanks for the information.

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In reply to by june B.

Larry B.

Hey June,

I also have the HM3 and I get mine through Continuum with the rest of my supplies. But, it your ins doesn’t cover them you can get them off of amazon or even eBay. I use a 6x8 overlapped by a 4x4 3/4 to make sure even my foley is covered. I’ve been doing it this way for over two years now and it works well. The only time I’ve had a leak was from operator error. Ive heard of others not using anything but I sure don’t recommend it. But, that’s just me.

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In reply to by Larry B.

John S.

Could you please explain how you place the tegaderms as I am a rookie at all of this.

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Kelly D.

That welding is definitely a big no with HM3 because of the magnetic parts in the motor.  They also said things like no crunches, marathons, repetitive twisting and things like that, and no long ATV or snowmobile rides because of the risk of jarring the pump.  My dad asked how close he can be to the welding equipment because he would like to teach others how to and they said they had to look into it.