Medical City Fort Worth October 30, 2017

Patient Jeanette Alexander received the world's small pacemaker at Medical City Fort Worth.

As a leader in cardiac care, Medical City Fort Worth is now offering the world’s smallest pacemaker for cardiology patients.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, the Micra® pacemaker is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure at Medical City Fort Worth was recently performed by cardiac electrophysiologist Senthil Thambidorai, MD.

The Micra specifically treats bradycardia, a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

Physicians at Medical City Fort Worth are also using the Micra pacemaker because it does not require cardiac wires or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra pacemaker automatically adjust spacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.

Jeanette Alexander, one of the first patients to receive the Micra at Medical City Fort Worth, says she’s happy that no chest incision was needed to implant her pacemaker, that there is no outward sign of the device and that she can get back to normal activities much faster than with a traditional pacemaker.

“I’m not a fashionista, but I do like to look neat in my clothes, and I don’t want that little bulge,” Alexander explained. “Plus, I want to be able to move wherever I want to move, like doing my exercises, without interference from a pacemaker. I do think that’s important to my health.”

“This pacemaker option is less invasive, leaves less hardware in the body and patients can get back to their normal routine more quickly,” says Dr. Thambidorai, regional medical director of electrophysiology for Medical City Healthcare.

View a video about the Micra pacemaker: