Mumbai hospital implants leadless pill-size pacemaker

Mumbai: With the help of pacemakers, doctors have given a steady heart rhythm to many a patient. Going a step ahead, a smaller version of the pacemaker was recently implanted in a heart of a 78-year-old man. This small device comes with several benefits.

The man — an Iraqi national — was suffering from Bradycardia. Saiffee doctors who successfully performed a transcatheter implant said that unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical ‘pocket’ under the skin to deliver pacing therapy.

Bradycardia is a heart condition because of which the heart beats very slowly. For most people, a heart rate of 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, it is slower than normal. “Pacemakers are used to treat bradycardia, a slow or irregular heart rhythm by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate,” said Dr Yunus Loya, senior consultant cardiologist surgeon, Saifee Hospital.

He added that Micra is intended only for patients who need a single chamber and is completely self-contained and reduces infections. “It has reduced the complications and risks associated with the routine pacemaker by almost 50% like lead infection, pacemaker pocket infection, venous obstruction etc”, said Dr Loya.

The cardiothoracic surgeon of Saifee Hospital said that unlike most pacemakers placed inside patient’s chest with leads running to the heart, the leadless pacemaker is implanted through a keyhole-sized incision through the groyne region into the heart. “It is the minimally invasive procedure, reducing the patient’s pain and stress considerably. The patients use to faint due to slow heart rhythms which have to improve after implanting the leadless pacemaker,” said Dr. Aliasgar Behranwala.

He further said a micra is roughly the size of a large vitamin capsule and is more than 93% smaller than a conventional pacemaker. “It adjusts the patient’s heart automatically by sensing changes in the body related to the activity level and adjusts accordingly,” said Dr. Behranwala.

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