World's smallest heart pacemaker offers big benefits
For patients who need single-chamber heart pacing, Gundersen offers the world's smallest pacemaker—the Medtronic MicraTM. It's about the size of a multi-vitamin and less than a tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. There are no wires or leads as in traditional heart pacemakers. The new self-contained Micra pacemaker is implanted directly into the right ventricle (lower chamber) of the heart.
This pacemaker is inserted using a minimally invasive, catheter-based procedure. The device is inserted through a very small incision in a blood vessel in the leg. The pacemaker, inside a sheath, is guided to the desired location, unsheathed and affixed securely to the inner wall of the heart.
Clinical trials found that the new leadless pacemaker has fewer major complications such as device-related infections. Other benefits include:
- No visible sign of a pacemaker under the skin and no chest scar
- No leads to break, detach or wear out
- Fewer post-implant activity restrictions
- Far fewer post-implant complications
Battery life is about 12 years. The device can be turned off at the end of service and another pacemaker can be added. If needed, the pacemaker can be retrieved, although in most cases that is not necessary.
While the outcomes and benefits of this pacemaker are very good, it may not be for everyone. If you are interested in this pacemaker technology, talk to your cardiologist or contact Gundersen Cardiology to see if you are a candidate for the device.