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Leadless Pacemaker Implantation

23 December 2015

The first implantation of a leadless pacemaker has been successfully performed at HYGEIA Hospital.


The leadless pacemaker has brought revolution in pacemaker technology. It is about one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker and resembles a miniaturized capsule. It incorporates the battery, lead and software of a conventional pacemaker, while it is attached to the inside of the heart with tiny hooks. The pacemaker is inserted in the right ventricle via the femoral vein using a special catheter, which is retracted once the capsule has been anchored, leaving no scars, as is the case with conventional pacemakers.


As noted by Mr Theodoros Apostolopoulos, Cardiologist, Electrophysiologist and Director of HYGEIA Hospital’s Electrophysiology, Pacemaker and Defibrillator Department, “The leadless pacemaker is suitable for patients with permanent atrial fibrillation and symptomatic bradycardia or pauses. It is especially beneficial for patients with previous pacemaker infection, patients on dialysis, or patients with poor patency of the venous system in the upper limbs due to radiotherapy.

Apart from the aesthetic result, the major advantage is that it is possible to avoid some of the complications related to the pacemaker leads and the pocket (such as hematomas, infections, endocarditis, pneumothorax, dislodgment of leads, etc), which require new procedures or extended hospitalization.”

The leadless pacemaker lasts about 10 years and is compatible with MRI devices, while it may be monitored remotely (via the internet). The procedure is performed in the Cardiac Catheterization Lab under local anesthesia and administration of conscious sedation. It lasts about one hour, while patients remain hospitalized for 1-2 days.