Tiny pacemaker the size of a jellybean being offered at URMC

Local News
The University of Rochester Medical Center is introducing us to the world’s smallest pacemaker. Doctors say the device is a solution for people with uncontrollable heart rates.
 
Dr. David Huang is a Cardiologist at URMC.
 
“This is for all patients who have bradycardia, that is if they have slow heart rhythm problems,” he says. “This pacemaker will be ideal for them.”
 
It’s called the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System and it’s about the size of a jelly bean. It’s the size, more than anything, that makes this notable.
 
“This is a significant advance because not all patients who need pacemakers can accommodate a pacemaker well,” said Dr. Huang. “If they have vascular problems or if they’re very skinny, or if they have other heart problems.”
 
Dr. Huang is the first in the Rochester area to surgically input this new device. He says it’s minimally invasive because of where it’s placed.  
 
“So we have a very small incision right around the leg and we get access to the vein in the leg which allows us to have direct access up into the heart,” he said. 
 
The new pacemaker is said to last up to 12 years, which is slightly longer than traditional ones.
 
Currently, in the Finger Lakes region, it’s only offered at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
 
This new pacemaker costs $10,000, which is significantly more than traditional ones. Not all health insurers will cover the cost.
 

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