Miniature Pacemaker Debut

The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker.

The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker.

Heart patients in the U.S. can now take advantage of a miniature pacemaker that stimulates a regular heart rhythm without the connecting leads or wires of a conventional pacemaker.

The new leadless Micra Transcatheter Pacing System was recently implanted at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center in Ann Arbor by electrophysiologist Ryan Cunnane, M.D.

Medtronic’s Micra is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, or roughly the size of a large vitamin. The pacemaker is revolutionary not only for its measurements, but also because it is placed inside the heart via a minimally invasive procedure.

“There’s no incision in the chest, and no leads, which means none of the larger device-related complications that go with that,” says Dr. Cunnane.

The one-inch device is implanted directly onto the inside heart wall through a vein in the patient’s groin. Flexible prongs hold it in place and electrical impulses are then generated to regulate heartbeats much like a traditional pacemaker.

The leadless device also eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart.