KOCHI: The world’s smallest pacemaker has been successfully fitted inside the heart of an octogenarian at the Believers Church Medical College at Tiruvalla in Pathanamthitta district. The device is only one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker and around the size of a large vitamin capsule.
“The leadless pacemaker, which was cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration, is a new type of heart device that offers the most advanced pacing technology,” say Believers Church Medical College, (head of cathlab services and interventional cardiologist Dr Ravi Cherian Mathew and HoD of cardiology Dr Leena Thomas who performed the implant.
“The patient was fitted with the device for complete heart block and after one year he developed recurrent pacemaker site infection. So we were left with the option of using the new leadless pacemaker.
The device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and fitted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads.
“It is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels,” says Dr Leena Thomas.
“The battery of the device will last for 10 years. It is MRI compatible and has a feature to enable retrieval of the device when required.
“The cost of the imported device is around `8 lakh. For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturised leadless pacemaker is designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without the risk of electrical interaction,” says Dr Ravi Cherian.