We have a highly skilled team who can provide a wide range of services from diagnosis to treatment.
A pacemaker is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate or to stimulate the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).
Pacemakers are used to treat patients with bradycardia arrhythmia, slow heart rhythms that may occur due to disease in the heart’s conduction system (such as the SA node, AV node, or His-Purkinje network).
A leadless pacemaker is a small self-contained device that is inserted in the right ventricle of the heart. It does not require connecting leads (wires) or a generator or creating a surgical pocket on the chest. These are the most common causes of traditional pacemaker complications over the long term and may affect up to one in ten patients.
When the leadless device is in place, there is no lump under the skin on the chest or leads anchored to the muscle bed. Sometimes these cause minor discomfort for patients who live with traditional pacemakers. The incisional access for a traditional pacemaker and each generator replacement leaves a scar that is a cosmetic concern for some patients.
The procedure uses a catheter to place the device. The procedure typically takes less time than a traditional pacemaker implant procedure. Because there are no wires or generators, you do not need to limit upper body activity after the implant.
Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care has a skilled electrophysiology team who can provide a wide range of cardiac rhythm treatments. Their electrophysiology cardiologists are trained in many different techniques and procedures, many of which can provide you with a shorter recovery period and the opportunity to recover at home.
A leadless pacemaker is only available for patients with certain medical conditions and a slow heart rate (bradycardia) who need single-chamber pacing only. Your doctor can tell you if you are a candidate for a leadless pacemaker after reviewing your medical history, heart rhythm, and the results of medical tests.
You may need one or more of these tests to diagnose whether you need a leadless pacemaker:
Some abnormal heart rate conditions that require a pacemaker include:
Before the procedure:
The leadless pacemaker is put in place using a long, thin tube called a catheter. The catheter is inserted into the femoral vein through a very small incision in your groin. Your doctor will numb this area with a local anesthetic (pain-relieving medication). Your doctor will use an X-ray machine to guide the catheter to your heart.
Once the catheter is inside the right ventricle, your doctor will place the pacemaker into position in the heart. The device is tested to make sure it is attached to the wall and programmed correctly. Then, the catheter is removed, and the incision site is closed by applying pressure to the area.
The procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete, although this can vary patient-to-patient based on individual anatomical differences.
You will need to lie flat and keep the leg straight for two to six hours after the procedure. This prevents bleeding from the access site. Do not try to sit or stand. A sterile dressing will be placed on your groin area to protect it from infection. You will spend the night in the hospital and will be able to go home after a device check and chest X-ray.
You may feel discomfort at the device implant site during the first 48 hours after the procedure. The doctor will tell you what medications you can take for pain relief. Call your doctor or nurse if you are in pain.
Keep the area where the device was implanted clean and dry. Do not scrub the area. Bandages may be removed three weeks after the date of the implant. Do not cover the wound unless you have been instructed to do so. Do not use creams, lotions, or ointments on the wound site.
Call your doctor if you notice:
You may take a shower five days after the procedure.
If the device was implanted in your abdomen, do not wear tight-fitting clothing or belts.