Doctors Testing Tiny Pacemaker

Published 03/07 2014 05:08PM

Updated 03/07 2014 05:50PM

A new study is  testing an experimental pacemaker, smaller than a triple A battery. The device doesn't even require surgery to implant 
Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital were  the first in the United States to implant the new pacemaker.
Surgeons use a catheter to guide the device up through a vein in the leg and screw it directly into the heart muscle. Dr Vivek Reddy says the procedure takes five to 10 minutes  and the recovery is also faster. 
Pacemakers are necessary when a patient's heart doesn't beat fast enough or work properly. The device corrected Gregory Dobin's heart beat, restoring his pulse to a healthy 60 beats per minute. The 83-year-old says his breathing has also improved since getting the device.
More than 600 hundred patients are expected to take part in the nationwide study to make sure the new pacemaker is safe and effective.  If there's a problem, doctors can remove the pacemaker through a catheter.

The device is approved for use in Europe and currently can only be used to regulate the lower chamber of the heart.

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