CMC begins using world’s tiniest pacemaker
CMC’s New England Heart & Vascular Institute (NEHVI) is a leader in offering innovative technologies. The latest is the world’s tiniest pacemaker.
Micra is a leadless pacemaker, about the size of an adult vitamin, that was introduced in 2017. Unlike conventional pacemakers, which are placed under the skin near the shoulder and have leads into the heart, Micra is inserted directly into the heart via a catheter that enters the body in the leg.
The advantages are many, according to NEHVI cardiologist Dr. Daniel Philbin. In trials, there were about half as many complications as traditional pacemakers and no infections associated with placing the device. The device has a 12-year battery life and patients are usually up and walking within two hours of the procedure.
“But the biggest thing I hear from patients, “says Dr. Philbin, “is that they’re no longer constantly reminded that the device is there. Instead of a noticeable scar and a lump under the skin near the shoulder, a patient has a trivial little scar on the upper leg. That’s what people are really moved by.”
Micra is part of a trend in health care, and especially in cardiac care, toward non- and minimally-invasive procedures.
“Patients who previously would have needed an invasive procedure, an ICU stay, and a lengthy recovery can come in one day, be up and moving with hours, and back to their normal routines a day later,” says Dr. Philbin. “It’s remarkable and it’s becoming more the rule than the exception.”
Image courtesy of Medtronic.