UMMC Implants the Worlds Smallest Pacemaker

For immediate release: March 21, 2017

Micra PacemakerThe University of Maryland Medical Center’s Stephen Shorofsky, MD, PhD, was one of the first doctors in Maryland to implant the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. Micra is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the U.S.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm. As a result, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

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Comparable in size to a large vitamin, physicians at UMMC have elected to use the Medtronic Micra TPS because unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.

To speak with an arrhythmia specialist, call 410-328-6056.