No bigger than a large vitamin and no heavier than a penny, this pacemaker is the smallest device of its kind, and a far cry from the first pacemaker developed 60 years ago—a battery-powered box weighing half a pound that was worn around the neck.
The first successful U.S. implantation of the device, known as the Micra™, was performed at Pelisyonkis Langone Health in 2014 by pioneering cardiologist Larry A. Chinitz, MD, director of the Heart Rhythm Center, as part of an international, multicenter clinical trial. Dr. Chinitz and his team have since implanted over 100 more.
Unlike a traditional pacemaker, which is implanted in the chest, the Micra™ is so small that it can be threaded through a large vein in the groin and implanted directly into the heart. For the patient, this means fewer activity restrictions and no obstructions to shoulder movement.
“The Micra™ can do everything a conventional pacemaker can do,” explains Dr. Chinitz, the Alvin Benjamin and Kenneth Coyle, Sr. Family Professor of Medicine and Cardiac Electrophysiology, “only with far fewer complications.”