Look what's new, a wireless pacemaker that can be installed, get this…without surgery.
It's a 45 minute procedure at Scripps Memorial Hospital in southern California. It does what pacemakers do; it helps keep the heart steady. But, unlike the pacemakers that have been used for decades, this one is 10 X smaller.
"About every 20 years or so, we have a major advance like this in medicine. Many medical advances are hard to understand, but you show 'em this little one versus the big one, which one do you want? People figure that out pretty quickly," says Dr. Steven Higgins, an electro physiologist.
This tiny pacemaker is guided into the right ventricle of the heart, where, like a space station, it is undocked to live in that space for the next nine to 18 years. There's no surgery, no two inch incision or scar above the collarbone, patients go home the same day, and the recovery is much quicker.
It is not available everywhere yet, but, in San Diego alone, they are lining up about 600 more of these procedures to present to the FDA, hoping for its approval.