Arnold Schwarzenegger recently underwent open heart surgery and implanted a pacemaker due to irregular heartbeats, caused as a result of scar tissue from previous surgeries. Schwarzenegger has had a bicuspid valve condition since birth, that he inherited from his mother. However, despite his initial concerns, recovery has been remarkable, with his energy levels quickly returning to normal.

Earlier, in his newsletter, Schwarzenegger expressed gratitude to the medical team and their exceptional care during the procedure, while emphasizing the importance of staying vigilant about his heart health, a necessity due to his genetic heart condition. Reflecting on his family history, he acknowledged the advancements in medical technology that have allowed him to receive life-saving treatments that were unavailable to his mother and grandmother. It is these developments in technology that helped Arnie implant a pacemaker. But what does it actually do?

A pacemaker stabilizes irregular heart rhythms


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Pacemakers are silent guardians, ensuring your heart’s rhythm to the right tune. The procedure offers stability to those navigating heart health challenges. Pacemakers are often implanted through surgery and step in when things go awry, stabilizing irregular heart rhythms and safeguarding your life from potential disruptions. It can help in the rescue of various heart conditions, including heart arrhythmias, disruptions in the heart’s electrical system, heart failure, and a history of heart attacks. If you experience symptoms like chest pain, rapid or slow heartbeat, dizziness, or unexplained fatigue, it’s time to consult your healthcare provider, just like Arnie did.

Earlier, Schwarzenegger had taken to his Instagram to share a picture after the surgery. Showcasing gratitude, he had written, “Thank you! I’ve gotten so many kind messages from all over the world, but a lot of people have asked if my pacemaker will cause any problems with FUBAR Season 2. Absolutely not. I will be ready to film in April, and you can only see it if you’re really looking for it,” wrote the Terminator.

This isn’t his first experience with heart surgery. He had his valves replaced twice before, first through open-heart surgery in 1997 and then with a non-invasive procedure in 2018. Despite a mishap during one of his surgeries, the 76-year-old remained resilient and committed to his health. However, he mentioned in his newsletter, “They only replaced one of the two valves, so I headed to the Cleveland Clinic in 2020 and did the other one. This time, the non-invasive Transcatheter valve replacement worked!”

Subsequent advancements in medical procedures enabled him to undergo non-invasive valve replacement surgeries, significantly reducing recovery times. However, despite these advancements, Schwarzenegger’s doctors advised him to monitor his condition closely, given the complexity of his medical history.

Schwarzenegger’s energy level was back within days

Recovery from pacemaker surgery is usually quick. Schwarzenegger’s energy levels were back to normal within days. With advancing technology, pacemaker batteries can last up to 10 to 15 years. Regular follow-up appointments are crucial to monitor battery levels and overall heart health.

Furthermore, regular check-ups and communication with his medical team are preferable. Schwarzenegger did the same and stayed informed about his heart’s condition. Following the implantation of the pacemaker, Schwarzenegger wasted no time in resuming his activities as he was back to his environmental work within days and also gave a speech to spread awareness regarding the health hazards in California.

While pacemakers offer significant benefits, potential risks include allergic reactions, blood clots, device malfunctions, and rare heart rhythm issues. Here are the types of implants and different approaches to the procedure.

Pacemaker implant approaches and types

Firstly, the catheter-based approach, Ideal for leadless pacemakers, involves a tube inserted through an artery to deliver the device. Additionally, the transvenous Approach is common in adults, for which wires are threaded through a vein near the heart, connecting to a pacemaker implanted beneath the skin. Lastly, the surgical-based approach involves a small chest incision, with wires directly attached to the heart chambers, and the pacemaker placed in a pocket under the skin. Have a look at the types of pacemakers, as well.

  • Leadless Pacemaker: A wire-free option, inserted through a catheter, suitable for single-chamber conditions.
  • Single-Chamber Pacemaker: Utilizes one wire, targeting a single heart chamber.
  • Dual-Chamber Pacemaker: With two wires, it regulates two heart chambers.
  • Biventricular Pacemaker: Utilizing three wires, it synchronizes the heart’s lower chambers, often used for complex conditions like heart failure.

While Arnie’s transparency has led to conversations on heart health and technological advancements like pacemakers, he continues to inform his followers and members of his village, underscoring the significance of proactive healthcare.

Arnie’s advice for people suffering from health conditions

Despite being raised to keep medical conditions private, Schwarzenegger defied the norms and chose to share his experience with his extensive audience. He recognized that many may be facing similar health challenges. In his newsletter, Schwarzenegger reassured his fans and followers that they are not alone in their health struggles.


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He encouraged others and said, “I want you to know you aren’t alone. And if you’re putting something off out of fear, I hope I inspire you to listen to your doctors and take care of yourself.” He emphasizes the importance of listening to medical professionals and taking proactive steps toward one’s health.

READ MORE: Having Experienced Open Heart Surgery Previously, Arnold Schwarzenegger Reveals How to Predict if You’ll Have a Heart Attack

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s quick recovery from his recent pacemaker surgery showcases the advancements in medical technology and the importance of proactive healthcare management. His openness about his health condition is nothing short of inspiring to many facing similar challenges, reminding them that they are not alone in their struggles and encouraging them to prioritize their well-being.


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READ MORE: 76-YO Arnold Schwarzenegger Describes the Rest of His Life in Five Words