The World’s Smallest Pacemaker

Print icon

Download your guide on irregular heartbeats – and how they’re diagnosed and treated. 

Doctors at Hartford Hospital recently implanted the world’s smallest pacemaker. It’s called the Micra transcatheter pacing system, and it’s designed for patients who need a single-chamber pacemaker. Dr. Steven Zweibel, Director of Electrophysiology at Hartford Hospital, has the details.

Q: The size of this pacemaker is similar to that of a vitamin capsule. Tell us how this new device is implanted. 

A: The Micra transcatheter pacemaker is implanted through a vein in the upper leg.  A catheter is placed into the femoral vein and a delivery system is placed up into the heart. The Micra pacemaker is then introduced into the lower right pumping chamber of the heart, the right ventricle.  The device has tines on it that keep it secured to the heart muscle.  Unlike the more traditional pacemaker, the Micra device has no leads or wires.  It is completely self-contained.  Once the Micra is in a suitable location, the tether that secures it to the delivery system is cut and the delivery system and catheter are removed from the body.  The procedure takes about 45 minutes to perform.

Download your guide on irregular heartbeats – and how they’re diagnosed and treated. 

Q: What are the benefits of this pacemaker? How does it compare to more traditional pacing systems?

A: Since the Micra pacing system has no leads like a traditional pacemaker, complications such as dislodgment or fracture of these wires are eliminated.  There is also a lower risk of infection and there is no visible scar, like we see with traditional pacemakers.  The Micra pacemaker is MRI compatible, as are many of the newer traditional pacemakers, and has a battery longevity of about 12 years.  The Micra also has the ability to increase a patient’s heart rate for them when their heart is unable to.

Q: What type of patient is the ideal candidate for this type of pacemaker?

A: The ideal patient for the Micra pacemaker is a patient who requires a single chamber pacemaker or a patient who is unable to undergo implantation of a traditional pacemaker due to inability to place leads into the heart. Your cardiologist or electrophysiologist will be able to help you determine which device is best for you.

Download your guide on irregular heartbeats – and how they’re diagnosed and treated. 


What's New

Wallingford Endoscopy Center Opens

Endoscopy Center Opens in Wallingford

The Wallingford Endoscopy Center, an 8,533- square-foot space dedicated to gastroenterology procedures, has opened in Wallingford. The center, a joint venture between Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut GI and MidState Gastroenterology Specialists, offers upper endoscopies and colonoscopies in the new facility. “Patients in need of gastrointestinal procedures will find the best care...


What is Inpatient Rehabilitation?

A new inpatient rehabilitation unit opened at Hartford Hospital recently. It’s a 26-bed unit that specializes in physical, occupational and speech therapy for patients who have suffered a major illness or injury. Dr. Maria Tsarouhas of the Hartford Hospital In-Patient Rehabilitation Unit has details on what that means.  Q: This unit opened...

Apple Watch and AFib

Why Heart Patients Shouldn’t Use Apple Watch to Detect AFib

Seems that the Apple smartwatch can do it all – check email, send an SOS, connect to your car, get directions, open your garage door and order a pizza — but checking your heartbeat for atrial fibrillation might not make sense. Dr. Steven Zweibel, director of electrophysiology at the Hartford...


Hartford HealthCare Increases Minimum Hourly Rate to $15

More than 2,400 employees to benefit from increase, effective March 31 Hartford HealthCare today (Monday, 1/14) announced it will increase its minimum hourly rate to $15, effective March 31, 2019. The new pay rate will directly benefit more than 2,400 of Hartford HealthCare’s approximately 20,000 employees throughout Connecticut. These employees...

GoHealth interior.

Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care Center Opens in Torrington

Newly constructed Hartford HealthCare-GoHealth Urgent Care center will replace Charlotte Hungerford Hospital’s former urgent care walk-in center, less than a mile away. GoHealth Urgent Care, one of the country’s largest and fastest-growing urgent care companies, together with its partner Hartford HealthCare, Connecticut’s most comprehensive healthcare network and an affiliate of...


Why Does My Neck Hurt? (It Could Be a Pinched Nerve)

When is neck pain a serious issue? When it’s a pinched nerve, according to Dr. Joel Bauman, chief of neurosurgery at the Connecticut Orthopaedic Institute at MidState Medical Center. Q: What is a pinched nerve? A: A pinched nerve is when there is an injury, usually in the disk, which...

Prostate Cancer Relationships

ED, Incontinence After Prostate Surgery: What Can a Partner Do?

This is the first of a two-part series on the effects of prostate cancer on relationships. Ask any prostate cancer survivor and he’ll tell you there’s no price he wouldn’t pay to be cancer-free. Let’s start with the surest way to cure prostate cancer when the disease hasn’t spread: Removal...