MICRA – World’s smallest pacemaker
Bradycardia is a condition where one’s heart rate is slower than normal (less than 60 times a minute). This can turn into a serious condition if it leads to the heart not pumping enough blood into the body. Dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and confusion are common symptoms. Some patients also experience blackouts.
A Pacemaker is a device that is implanted inside the body to regularize the patient’s heartbeat. Over the years advancing medical technology has seen vast improvements in the device, making it longer lasting, reducing the complications and making it easier to monitor. Traditional pacemakers work by sending electrical impulses through wires, or leads, and come with a pulse generator (to create electric pulses) and electrodes (which sense the natural heartbeat and send the pulse when it becomes abnormal). These are placed outside the heart, either in the chest or abdomen.
Leadless pacemaker is a relatively new device that has no wires. It is a small and compact device with the pulse generator and electrodes inside it. It is placed inside a chamber of the heart through a small tube inserted in the vein.
Research and development work is on to make the device more user-friendly while increasing its performance and longevity. The latest innovation in this field, MICRA is the world’s smallest leadless pacemaker.
- It is as large as a vitamin capsule and 93% smaller than most conventional pacemakers.
- It is implanted via a vein in leg which makes the procedure less invasive.
- It has fewer medical complications and fewer post-implant activity restrictions.
Features of MICRA
- Allows safe magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Adjusts heart rate automatically by sensing changes in the body as per your activity level
- Its battery lasts between 8 and 13 years
Some common queries you may have about the MICRA?
Will items containing magnet affect it?
Yes, it may. It is best to keep items containing magnets at least 6 inches away from the implanted pacemaker. This includes mobile phones, magnetic therapy products, stereo speakers, and handheld massagers. It is best not to put a mobile phone in your shirt pocket or use magnetic mattress pads and pillows.
Is it safe to exercise after the implant?
Yes, one can return to usual activities and exercise, as long you do not exceed your fitness level
What happens when the battery runs low?
When a new device is required, the Micra device may either be turned off or be removed from the body before the other device is implanted. The doctor will determine what is best for you.
What is the follow-up routine post implant?
Usually the first follow-up is after a month of the implant and at every 6-12 months gap after that, or as per your doctor’s advice.