After a heart attack unfortunately it is common to develop a weakening of the heart muscle which can lead to congestive heart failure. The pacemaker will help maintain a regular
heart rate. We have taken care of many people who have had heart attacks developed heart failure and had pacemakers put in. The prognosis depends on the degree of damage to the heart muscle but can be very good with close monitoring and adjustments of medications. You should also be avoiding excess salt/sodium and limiting fluids. Daily weights can help you monitor your fluid status. If you gain more than 2 to 3 pounds in a day or more than 5 pounds per week you should contact your physician. Salt/sodium should be restricted to less than 2,000 mg per day. Excess fluid and salt can lead to further congestion and weakening of the heart muscle. Visit http://www.abouthf.org/education_modules.htm for free educational material about managing heart failure. You need to take an active role in your care and discuss any concerns/questions with your cardiologist. Also check your local hospital for heart failure support groups which can be very helpful.