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How Wireless Pacemakers Are Changing Lives

Since its introduction in the 1960s, the pacemaker has been a lifesaver for millions of people worldwide with heart arrhythmias. But as with any piece of equipment, the pacemaker isn’t without complications, especially in the wiring. Thanks to new wireless pacemakers, heart patients are living their lives without skipping a beat.

At Heart Rhythm Associates, under the expert direction of Van H. De Bruyn, MD, patients in central Arkansas have access to the latest heart-health advances, which includes this incredible advancement in pacemakers.

Here’s a look at how wireless pacemakers are changing lives for the better.

Keeping pace with a pacemaker

Each year, a million people worldwide receive a pacemaker, allowing them to overcome dangerous, and even life-threatening, heart arrhythmias. We implant these devices under your skin and near your heart, and wire them to your heart to deliver electrical pulses that control your heart’s rhythms.

The success of the pacemaker is without dispute, allowing millions of people around the world (and many of our patients) to lead normal, productive lives without the limitations that conditions like bradycardia can place on them, such as passing out.

The wireless revolution

Despite the traditional pacemaker’s success, these tiny little devices don’t come without the potential for complications. Because three wires, or leads, need to be directed into your heart, the traditional pacemaker is more susceptible to problems. Faulty connections, wires that move out of place, and problems following the implantation of the wires can interfere with the efficacy of these pacemakers.

To reduce these complications, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first wireless pacemaker in 2016. Now, Dr. De Bruyn simply threads the small device (which is smaller than a dime) through your femoral artery to your heart. And that’s the first benefit — no surgery, which means less risk of infection.

The wireless results are in

With wireless pacemakers in use for the last few years, the medical world has had enough time to draw some conclusions about the new technology, and the results are very encouraging.

In a study by the Cleveland Clinic, researchers considered 718 people with a wireless pacemaker and 1,436 people who received a traditional pacemaker. The results showed that the leadless pacemaker led to “significantly fewer complications.”

Getting unhooked

The new wireless pacemakers are not yet available on a widespread basis because studies are ongoing. And they aren’t appropriate for everyone who needs a pacemaker. In fact, wireless pacemakers are designed for about 10% of those who need this regulating device, including patients who have:

The best way to find out whether you may benefit from this exciting new technology is to make an appointment with us so that we can discuss your options. Simply give us a call at (501) 270-6618 or use the convenient online scheduling tool.

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