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Innovative pacemaker is a tenth of normal size

By Jane Kirby

The world's first leadless pacemaker is being introduced in to the UK.

Smaller than a AAA battery, it is less than 10% the size of a conventional pacemaker and does not require surgery.

The device does not have any of the wires of a typical pacemaker thanks to a built-in battery that lasts nine to 13 years.

The lack of wires removes the chance they can become infected, dislodged or damaged. This means patients can lead normal lives rather than having restrictions placed on their activities.

A pacemaker can greatly improve a patient's quality of life and for some, can be life-saving. They are used to regulate the heartbeat in people with heart failure, when the organ can pump out of synch.

Others need them because their heart beats too fast or too slow and this is not effectively controlled by medication.

The new device was given CE mark approval recently and its manufacturer is planning on submitting information to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

This could mean patients would get it on the NHS. For now, they would have to pay privately.

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