Pacemaker surgery typically requires a doctor to make an incision above a patient’s heart, dig a cavity into which they can implant the heartbeat-regulating device, and then connect the pulse generator to wires delivered through a vein near the collarbone. Such surgery could soon be completely unnecessary. Instead, doctors could employ miniaturized wireless pacemakers that can be delivered into the heart through a major vein in the thigh.
On Monday, doctors in Austria implanted one such device into a patient—the first participant in a human trial of what device-manufacturer Medtronic says is the smallest pacemaker in the world.
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