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Local Doctors Seek Patients For New Pacemaker Trial

By Lynne Adkins

WYNNEWOOD, Pa. (CBS) -- Lankenua Medical Center in Wynnewood is looking for patients who want to take part in a study of a new pacemaker, which is much smaller than current models.

The new device is about the size of a large vitamin and is placed directly in the heart through a catheter, says Dr. Doug Esberg, a cardiologist at the center.

"This new device is a much smaller, little thing, a little larger than a capsule you would swallow, and this little device gets inserted directly into the heart and attaches to the heart wall on the inside and it's the whole pacemaker, the battery, the computer brains and there's no wire to send a signal down to the heart."

Dr. Esberg says it requires no surgery and avoids the issues that plague current pacemakers.

"The problem with the old system is the wire." He says, "The wire that connects to the heart has to be both durable and soft because it has to be in the heart where we don't want it to do any damage, but it has to be durable because it's inside the human body and people who are gonna have them for a long time are at some risk of having them wear out."

Dr. Esberg says the wires on current models can fail and then surgery is needed for replacement.

Since the smaller device is self-contained, there would be no wire related issues.

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