Medical milestone as new fuse-sized pacemaker is used for first time in Leeds

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Leeds surgeons have celebrated their landmark first use of a new wireless pacemaker, which is one-tenth the size of any other used before.

A 68-year-old patient was fitted with the new wireless Micra pacemaker, which is the size of a household fuse, at Leeds General Infirmary after it was inserted in a vein in the inner thigh and moved into the heart.

The milestone means LGI is the first NHS hospital to fit such a device, made by Medtronic, since a trial period.

Patient Rodney Gamble had the Micra fitted, which has only been made possible by advances in battery technology and circuitry, to replace a temporary device which had been maintaining a regular heartbeat. The new pacemaker should last Mr Gamble around 15 years.

Consultant cardiologist Dr Chris Pepper, who led the LGI team that recently carried out the procedure, said: “The use of the new technology means that we can carry out much less invasive procedure and reduces some of the risks of complications associated with wired pacemakers.

“The new device offers significant promise for the future in improving life for patients with pacemakers.

“It is great to see how micro technologies have improved health care and I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the technology.”