What are the benefits of a leadless pacemaker?

  • It does not require connecting leads (wires) or a generator, or a creation of a surgical pocket on the chest. These are the most common causes of traditional pacemaker complications over the long-term, and may affect up to 1 in 10 patients.
  • When the leadless device is in place, there is no lump under the skin on the chest or leads anchored to the muscle bed. Sometimes these cause minor discomfort for patients who live with traditional pacemakers. The incisional access for a traditional pacemaker and each generator replacement leaves a scar that is a cosmetic concern for some patients.
  • The procedure uses a catheter to place the device. The procedure typically takes less time than a traditional pacemaker implant procedure.
  • Because there are no wires or generator, you do not need to limit upper body activity after the implant.

What are the risks of a leadless pacemaker implant?

Every procedure has complications associated with it. The most common possible problems after a leadless pacemaker implant involve the incision site, such as swelling and bleeding. These are not typically life threatening but may lead to a longer hospital stay or slower recovery.

More serious but rare complications include the device moving out of place (dislodgement) or internal bleeding, such as pericardial effusion or tamponade. Your doctor will talk to you before your procedure about the risks and benefits of the implant.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/01/2019.

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