Wireless pacemaker first for Blackpool medics

Dr Graheme Goode, left, with the old-style pacemakers and Dr Khalid Abozguia with the new lead-free version

Dr Graheme Goode, left, with the old-style pacemakers and Dr Khalid Abozguia with the new lead-free version

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Heart surgeons in Blackpool have fitted the resort’s first ‘wireless’ pacemaker.

The landmark operation was among the first of its kind in the North West and saw an 87-year-old St Annes woman fitted with the new type of cardiac pacemaker.

The device – a tenth of the size of its predecessor – is the smallest in the world and was fitted by the team at Lancashire Cardiac Centre, based at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The surgeons tucked the pacemaker inside the patient’s heart via a catheter.

As it is self-contained, it does away with wiring into the heart needed by normal pacemakers.

And, as the surgery involved with the new device is minimal, it should reduce the danger of infections developing, while at the same time improving the speed of the patient’s recovery.

Consultant cardiologist, Dr Grahame Goode, who performed the operation with Dr Khalid Abozguia, said: “This is a major step forward for the centre and for patients across the Fylde coast.

“Once we know the patient is suitable to have this type of pacemaker fitted there are huge benefits for them as the leadless technology means it is minimally invasive and carries fewer complications.

“Cosmetically there will be no scars and as the pacemaker is implanted there will be no visible lump in the chest.

“The simpler operation takes less time and patients can get back to normal in just two to three days, compared with six weeks currently.’’

The device could be suitable for around a third of pacemaker operations.

Dr Goode said: “This is a big step forward in patient treatment and a milestone for the Lancashire Cardiac Centre.’’