search buttonmobile navigation expand button

Back to Search Results

World's Smallest Pacemaker Debuts at McLaren Flint

Published on Monday, May 15, 2017

McLaren Flint is one of the first hospitals in Michigan, and the first in the region, to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. 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. The first procedure at McLaren Flint was performed by Mustafa Hassan, MD, electrophysiologist, on May 8, 2017. The patient was able to go home the very next day.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, 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.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, THE Micra TPS device was selected by Dr. Hassan because unlike traditional pacemakers it does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy.

“This is an exciting new treatment option for patients,” states Dr. Hassan. “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 or a pacemaker pocket– all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels. This is truly innovative technology.”

For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.

The Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla (T) full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and is designed to allow patients to be followed by their physicians and send data remotely via the Medtronic CareLink® Network.

The Micra TPS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2016, and has been granted Medicare reimbursement, allowing broad patient access to the novel pacing technology.