Hospital da Luz Heart Rhythm Center inserts world's smallest pacemaker

The Hospital da Luz has become the first Portuguese private hospital to fit the world's smallest pacemaker, a Micra cardiocapsule, which can replace a traditional pacemaker in specific circumstances.

The procedure was carried out on September 30th at the Hospital da Luz Heart Rhythm Center, where the ventricular stimulation device was placed in a patient for treatment of bradycardia, a heart rhythm disorder characterized by a slow heart rate.

Unlike a conventional pacemaker, the new device measures only 2.5 cm and is implanted directly into the heart through a minimally invasive procedure (using a catheter inserted into the femoral vein), which does not require a surgical incision in the chest.

The Micra cardiocapsule is secured to the walls of the heart through small hooks and can be repositioned if necessary. The mini device provides electrical impulses that stimulate the heart.

Despite its small size, the capsule has a battery which lasts, on average, 10 years and allows access to other more advanced means of diagnosis, as it is compatible with magnetic resonance imaging.