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03 Aug 2017

World’s smallest pacemaker arrives on the North Shore

 

A ninety-year-old woman has become the first patient on the North Shore to receive the world’s smallest heart pacemaker during a procedure at the San Hospital.

Patient Muriel Moss was the first person to have the implant after suffering with Atrial Fibrillation.

“I am a country person and have always enjoyed being active on the land” Mrs Moss said.

“Atrial Fibrillation has meant that I get fatigued and tired, despite taking medication.”

 


Atrial Fibrillation is when multiple electrical short circuits affect upper chambers of the heart impacting its rhythm and blood flow causing shortness of breath, dizziness and weakness.

Pacemakers are implanted to provide tiny electrical impulses to restore heart rhythm to around 60 - 100 beats per minute.

The new pacemaker is suitable for patients requiring a single chamber pacemaker and was implanted by San Hospital interventional cardiologist Dr Peter Illes last week and followed by another procedure to restore Mrs Moss’ normal heart rhythms.

Dr Illes has implanted more than 4,000 pacemakers in the last 20 years.

A traditional pacemaker has leads that connect from outside into the heart which can lead to bleeding, infection or swelling. The new pacemaker attaches to the heart via several small prongs, delivers electrical impulses through an electrode, and reduces risk.

The new pacemaker is one-tenth the size of current pacemakers and weighs less than a five cent coin.

Small Pacemaker Fast Facts:

  • Leadless Pacemaker implanted into the heart via the groin
  • Almost 100% smaller
  • Almost 100% implant success rate
  • Almost 50% fewer major complications


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