Posted on July 01, 2019
On June 4, 2019, Dr. Michael Casciello of CCHC Heart and Vascular Specialists implanted the first Micra Pacemaker in New Bern, NC.
Permanent pacemakers have served both patients and physicians well for over 60 years. Until now, they utilized insulated wires, called “leads,” that connect the pulse generator and the muscles of the heart. The leads sense irregular behavior and conduct an electrical impulse from the generator to the muscle to keep the heart beating at an appropriate rate. The pulse generator is typically implanted under the skin on the patient’s chest while the leads run through veins into the chambers of the heart. The space necessary for the pacemaker requires an invasive surgery which has been associated with potential complications and limitations to post-implant activity levels. While traditional permanent pacemakers continue to function excellently, improvement and innovation are always around the corner, with one example being the leadless pacemaker.
Leadless cardiac pacemakers (LCPs) are a more recent development in the world of heart and vascular technology, with the Nanostim LCP first being implemented in 2014 and the Micra™ gaining FDA approval in the spring of 2016. Leadless pacemakers are placed directly in the right ventricle of the heart and are entirely self-contained, with the Micra™ system being roughly the size of a large pill (1.02 in/26 mm) and the Nanostim being thinner but slightly longer (1.65 in/42mm).