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World's Smallest Pacemaker

From the Show: Health Radio
Summary: Are you a candidate for the newest pacemaker technology?
Air Date: 6/8/16
Duration: 10
Host: Melanie Cole, MS
Guest Bio: Robert Kowal, MD

Dr. Robert KowalDr. Robert Kowal is a co-medical director of electrophysiology at Baylor Heart and Vascular Hospital. His areas of clinical expertise include catheter ablation for complex arrhythmias; pacemaker and defibrillator therapy including bi-ventricular resynchronization therapy for the treatment of heart failure; diagnosis and treatment of syncope; atrial fibrillation and genetic arrhythmia syndromes; clinical cardiac electrophysiology. For medical school, he attended UT Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. He also completed his residency at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and his fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Boston.

World's Smallest Pacemaker
A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted in the chest to regulate heartbeat for those with abnormal heart rhythms.

Pacemakers weighed almost 75 grams back in the 1950s, but have gradually become smaller and lighter. Because they are implanted under the skin, past versions of the device have been very noticeable in pacemaker users.

If your heart rate is too slow and you feel limited by that (shortness of breath; limited movement and exercise), you may be a candidate for a pacemaker. Pacing technology has been around for over 50 years.

The FDA-approved Micra pacemaker has the same battery duration and many features of traditional pacemakers. It is installed via a minimally invasive procedure through a blood vessel in the leg. The Micra pacemaker is not visible to the naked eye once installed. It's the first pacemaker without leads and wires, limiting the complications associated with them in traditional pacemakers.

Listen in as Dr. Robert Kowal shares the latest information on the Micra pacemakers.

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