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If you have a condition called bradycardia, otherwise known as a slow heartbeat, you and your doctor may decide an implantable heart device called a pacemaker is the right option for you. A pacemaker helps restore the heart's rhythm, by sending tiny electrical signals to the heart to increase the heart rate, which relieves the symptoms of bradycardia.
When people refer to a pacemaker, they are actually discussing a pacing system, which includes the pacemaker and leads.
The transcatheter cardiac pacing system is a cardiocapsule that is 93% smaller than traditional pacemakers. It is the size of a large vitamin capsule, and has a battery that lasts as long as a traditional pacemaker.1,2 Unlike a standard pacemaker, it is implanted into the heart through a vein in your leg and does not require a lead. The device's miniaturized size and minimally invasive approach leaves no visible sign of a medical device under the skin. This can mean fewer post-implant activity restrictions and no obstructions to shoulder movement.
The transcatheter cardiac pacing system is intended for patients who need a single chamber (also known as a ventricular pacemaker, or VVIR) pacemaker.
A pacemaker is designed to mimic the heart’s natural pacemaker, the sinus node. The pacemaker has two main purposes — pacing and sensing.
A pacemaker will send an electrical impulse to the heart when the heart’s own rhythm is too slow or is interrupted. This electrical impulse starts a heartbeat.
A pacemaker will also “sense” (monitor) the heart’s natural electrical activity. When the pacemaker senses a natural heartbeat, it will not deliver a pacing pulse.
Nippoldt D, Whiting J. Micra Transcatheter Pacing System: Device Volume Characterization Comparison. November 2014. Medtronic Data on File.
Medtronic Micra MC1VR01 Clinician Manual. November 2014.