New York Yankees: Aaron Boone, what are the implications of his surgery?

New York Yankees, Aaron Boone

The New York Yankee manager, Aaron Boone, learned today that he had to have a pacemaker installed for his heart. Boone took immediate emergency leave from the team. Many know that Boone had open heart surgery back in 2009 and has kept close tabs on his condition since then. Recently he has felt some lightheadedness and seemed to be zapped of his strength. He consulted with doctors, and they informed him that his heart was beating slower than optimal. The heart pumps blood to the body; it also pumps oxygen; if the body doesn’t get enough oxygen, then the body often responses with Boone’s symptoms.

Many of you who have heard this news or are reading about it will be wondering what effect this will have on the New York Yankees. The answer is probably not much. Boone has a staff of competent coaches. If Boone has surgery, actually, it’s more of a procedure; today, he will likely go home tomorrow night or the next morning as long as there are no complications. He could be back with the team as early as next week.

I speak with a little authority as I have had the same procedure. The pacemaker is an electrical device inserted under the skin, usually in the left upper chest area. The device has wires that are attached to the heart and regulate the heartbeats. Newer models even detail motion and demands as your activity increases and decreases and automatically speeds up the heart to meet demand. There are three types of pacemakers, and all three have different recovery times. It is unknown what type Boone will have inserted.

Simply put, all three devices have insulated wires that are attached to your heart. The unit is run by batteries that usually last about seven years. The patient will normally have an echocardiogram for the surgeon to determine how your heart pumps and the best places to attach the wires; it will also determine the type of pacemaker to be installed. The procedure is relatively fast, and the incision will be glued shut.

As I said, Boone could very well be back at the job of leading the Yankees as early as next week. He will not have many limitations as he is not playing a body contact sport, playing golf, tennis, or swimming. He will have some restrictions for up to six weeks. He will not be allowed to lift heavy objects and will be asked to avoid pushing or pulling motions. The only long-term annoyance associated with the pacemaker is that he most likely will not make it through metal detectors at airports.

As far as the team is concerned, Boone will be able to carry out all his normal activities, although he probably will avoid pitching demonstrations. Just a couple of weeks into the regular season, Boone should resume his life as normal. Also of interest is that his pacemaker will be attached to the Internet. The pacemaker “talks” to a monitor in his home, and that monitor transmits any abnormalities in his heart function to his doctor’s office or monitoring station.