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Mike D. Recipient

What to do about chest hair around Driveline?

Hi everyone, my name is Mike, my LVAD was implanted September 27th 2022. So far so good.  I am getting stronger by the day.  Do my 2-3 mile walk every day and go to Cardiac Rehab.  I am playing golf every Saturday. My only issues are a daily bout of double vision which lasts about 15 seconds and some nausea, which hopefully will clear up over time. My question and concern is chest hair.  I have a lot of it. Cleveland Clinic shaved the operational area but the hair is growing back.  What to do?  My VAD team says don't shave hair within 2 inches of the driveline as it could cause irritation and bacteria. But the hair just gets longer and longer and I am concerned that it will interfere with my ability to maintain a sterile environment within those 2 inches of the driveline.  Have any of  you had this issue and what do you do about it?  Mike

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Garry C.

Hi Mike,

I have my heartmate 3 since December 2020.

I shave the area with a small battery clippers. If you shave with a razor you could get an ingrown hair and and infection arising out of that. I asked my surgeon and he said using a small clippers is fine, it leaves a bit of stubble but won't result in ingrown hairs etc. I dismantle and sterilize the shaver blades and shave the area around the exit site before I start the dressing replacement. I also shave where I place the covering when I'm having a shower. I use 10inch clear tattoo tape covering the dressing and the driveline anchor (I protect both from sticking to the tape with tissue paper and then overlap it well on my skin. I just keep an eye out for it peeling away during the shower. I hope this helps. 


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Stan C.

I use a cordless Wahl Peanut hair trimmer around and under the sterile bandage before my wife starts cleaning the area to rebandage.  When this trimmer gives out I may get a better cordless trimmer more like a professional barber uses as this trimmer works but not as well as I would like.