Living Healthy: World’s smallest pacemaker

Medtronic’s newest pacemaker the Micra Trans-Catheter Pacing System is no bigger than a nickel.

At one-tenth the traditional size, it’s the world’s smallest.

“There’s no more generator. There’s no more lead. It’s all contained in this pellet that I’m showing you here. So it replaces the entire system,” Senior Vice President of Medtronic Pat Mackin said.

The makers say the “Micra” has the same 10-year battery life.

It’s implanted up through the femoral vein with a catheter and placed right inside the heart.

“So what you’re going to be left with is this little pellet deep inside the heart that will do the same function as the traditional system,” Mackin said.

Doctors say eliminating the lead and the need to make a pocket for the device is a huge advance.

“This new device has potential for helping out with the limitations of the current pacemaker systems we have, mainly the risk of infection and the risk of having a lead or a wire in your body for many years,” Dr. Bill Katsiyiannis of the Minneapolis Heart Institute said.

He anticipates using the device in trials starting early next year.

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