Freeman News

World's Smallest Pacemaker Available at Freeman

May 01, 2019

Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute First and Only in Southwest Missouri to Use the Device

Dr. John Swartz, Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute cardiologist, is the first and only physician in southwest Missouri to use the Medtronic Micra™ Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS). It is the first and only leadless pacemaker in the United States as a treatment option for patients with bradycardia (slow or irregular heart rhythm). The Micra TPS is about the size of a multivitamin, making it 93 percent smaller than traditional devices and the world’s smallest pacemaker.

According to Medtronic, Micra TPS is implanted during a minimally invasive procedure – placed in the heart via a vein in the leg – therefore there is no chest incision, scar or bump that results from conventional pacemakers. The device is completely self-contained within the heart. It eliminates potential medical complications arising from a chest incision and from wires running from a conventional pacemaker into the heart.

“The actual implantation takes no more than 15 – 20 minutes,” said Dr. Swartz. “For physicians, it is exciting because of the ease of implantation. For patients, it provides convenience and a less invasive option in terms of patient comfort.”

After the procedure, patients are typically up and walking within hours, and some can go home the same day. Because it is leadless, patients do not have to wear a sling or worry about dislodging leads, potentially reducing complications.

It also provides another treatment option for patients who previously would not have been a candidate for pacemaker implantation. Patients who have a problem with their upper veins may still be able to get a Micra TPS.

Once implanted, the self-contained system is designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels, and it has a battery life of 10 – 12 years. It is also the only transcatheter pacing system approved for full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

According to Medtronic, the Micra TPS has a 99 percent success rate and 48 percent fewer complications compared to the standard pacemaker. If the device does need to be removed or replaced, it includes a retrieval feature. The device also can be permanently disabled and left in the body without the risk of electrical interaction with any future devices. Currently, the Micra TPS is only approved for patients needing a single-chamber pacemaker.

The new transcatheter pacing system is one of many innovative treatments available at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute for patients with arrhythmias. To schedule an appointment, call 417.347.5000.

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2019, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. The Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2018 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit