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Submission + - Tiny Pacemaker Can Be Delivered to Your Heart's Interior Via a Catheter ( 1

the_newsbeagle writes: About four million people around the world have pacemakers implanted in their bodies, and those devices all got there the same way: surgeons sliced open their patients' shoulders and inserted the pulse-generating devices in the flesh near the heart, then attached tiny wires to the heart muscle. This invasive surgery carries risks of infection, of course, and those delicate wires are often the failure point when pacemakers stop working.

A device that just received approval in the EU seems to solve those problems. This tiny pacemaker is the first that doesn't require wires to bring the electrical signal to the heart muscle, because it's implanted inside the heart itself, and is hooked onto the inner wall of one of the heart's chambers. This is possible because the cylindrical device can be inserted and attached using a steerable catheter that's snaked up through the femoral artery. This blog post has an animation of the insertion process.

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Tiny Pacemaker Can Be Delivered to Your Heart's Interior Via a Catheter

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  • ...stuck into a heart via the crotch. I had an antenna wiggled around in there the same way about a year ago, blasting out RF energy to burn some offending cells out of an atrium. Sounds creepy, but totally painless and entertaining on the monitor overhead.

    BTW, kids, thanks for the quarter mil it cost Medicare. Now get off my lawn.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington