A new, minimally invasive surgery option is now available in New Mexico for patients who need a pacemaker to regulate an abnormally slow heartbeat.
Doctors with Presbyterian Healthcare Services have begun using the Micra, dubbed the “world’s smallest pacemaker,” using a technique that delivers the device directly into the patient’s heart.
Each year, about 350,000 people in the U.S. receive a pacemaker to correct an irregular heart rhythm caused by the electrical impulses within the heart firing erratically. Patients may be as young as infants, if they are born with a heart problem. More often, older people need a pacemaker because of heart disease.
Pacemakers have been around for several decades; first as devices worn externally, then implanted in the chest with electrical wires leading from the heart to a generator.
But the leads can cause problems, said Dr. Lawrence Nair, director of electrophysiology at Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care.