Cardiologists at Leuven academic hospital have implanted the smallest wireless pacemaker in the world, a first for Belgium. According to the hospital, the 81-year-old recipient is doing well. This is a technology which France, the Netherlands and Germany have been using since with success since the beginning of the year. The pacemaker, about the size of the end of your little finger, is 10 times smaller than standard pacemakers. Unlike traditional pacemakers which are placed under the collarbone and wired up to the heart with one or more probes, Mediatronic’s “Micra Transcatheter Pacing System” is placed directly inside the heart via a catheter inserted into the femoral vein.
This reduces the time the patient spends in theatre, their recovery time also the risk of complications. The patient is generally able to move normally about 6 hours after they come out of the anaesthetic.
An international clinical trial is currently underway to monitor the effectiveness of the new pacemaker. According to UZ Leuven, an initial study of over 140 recipients showed great promise. The second phase is currently underway and involves 780 patients in about 50 medical centres.