News Column

Medicine Wireless pacemaker used in first UK patient

June 10, 2014

Press Association

A pacemaker the size of a pill has been fitted inside the heart of a British patient, in a new operation that promises to reduce infection risk and reduce recovery time.

The wireless device, known as the micra transcatheter pacing system, is a tenth of the size of traditional models, and is implanted directly in the heart.

Currently pacemakers are inserted under the skin via an incision in the chest and connected to the heart via a lead that carries electrical signals to correct slow or irregular heartbeats, but they can require replacement because of broken or dislodged wires.

The new device, which is placed inside the wall of the heart by a catheter passed up through the groin, delivers electrical impulses from an electrode, removing the need for a lead to transmit signals.

Prof John Morgan, consultant cardiologist, said: "In addition to the advantages of the device's size and wireless technology, the procedure reduces the risk of infection and extended recovery time associated with traditional, more invasive surgical pacemaker implants.

"This a big step forward in patient treatment." PA

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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