What is a pacemaker?
A pacemaker is a device that sends small electrical impulses to the heart muscle to maintain a suitable heart rate or to stimulate the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles).
Pacemakers are used to treat patients with brady-arrythmias, slow heart rhythms that may occur as a result of disease in the heart’s conduction system (such as the SA node, AV node or His-Purkinje network).
A leadless pacemaker is small self-contained device that is inserted in the right ventricle of the heart.
Who is a candidate for a leadless pacemaker?
Not everyone is a candidate for a leadless pacemaker. Currently, the device is available only for patients with certain medical conditions and a slow heart rate (bradycardia) who need single-chamber pacing only. Like all pacemakers, leadless pacemakers require approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and sometimes there are additional restrictions upon availability for an individual patient. Your doctor can tell you if you are a candidate for a leadless pacemaker after a review of your medical history, heart rhythm, and the results of medical tests. You may need an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) or other noninvasive tests.