Weighing less than a five cent coin, the world’s smallest pacemaker has been implanted during heart surgery at the Sydney Adventist Hospital.
At one-tenth the size of other pacemakers, the new device is the “future”, according to San hospital interventional cardiologist Dr Peter Illes, a veteran of more than 4000 pacemaker implants.
Dr Illes said the benefits of the new device include reduced chance of bleeding, infection or swelling.
“A traditional pacemaker has leads that connect from outside into the heart, increasing the risk,” he said.
“The design of the new Micra pacemaker—attached to the heart via several small prongs, and delivering electrical impulses through an electrode on its tip rather than through leads—reduces that risk.”
Pacemakers provide tiny electrical impulses to restore rhythm and are implanted in the chest or abdomen of patients with a slow heartbeat.
The new pacemaker is suitable for patients who require a single chamber pacemaker and, because of its small size and weight, is implanted directly into the heart rather than a pocket in the skin.
The procedure takes about an hour and patients are discharged within about four hours.
Muriel Moss, 90, was the first San patient to have the new pacemaker implanted while also having a procedure to regulate her heartbeat.
“Now the surgery is over I’m planning to do my gardening and socialising,” said Mrs Moss.