SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - A pacemaker is a small device that's planted in your chest or abdomen to help control abnormal heart rhythms.
Just a few weeks ago, Aldona Arundel's heart wasn't pumping right, making her weak.
"I was in the hospital for 11 days," Arundel said.
"She was in really bad shape, she was in congestive heart failure, her heart was too slow to the point where it was not pumping the blood enough. So basically the fluid was collecting back into her lungs. She couldn't breathe, she felt terrible," said Dr. Basel Kasabali, a cardiologist, and electrophysiologist.
Finally, her doctor, Dr. Kasabali suggested implanting a new kind of pacemaker to help control her heart rhythms. This pacemaker — called a Micra — is brand new technology and is the size of a vitamin.
The Micra is intended for patients who need a single chamber pacemaker, ideal patients may be older, who would be at risk of falling and moving a lead on a traditional pacemaker. It is also a good option for patients who are always at risk of infection.
"You just don't know you have it," Arundel said.
"Amazing technology, there was always a pacemaker limitation in the past, sometimes when you implant in older patients, sometimes you worry about the lead dislodgement if the patient gets up and falls. Sometimes lead infection, you worry about infection. Patient has some incision complications, hematoma. When you do implant the very small, tiny pacemaker inside the heart, it basically the volume of only 2 cc's, amazing technology and is capable of pacing for 8-13 years," said Dr. Kasabali.
Kasabali decided 82-year-old Arundel would be a good candidate.
"I feel great. I guess have had it, symptoms or something for a while. But I feel so, my chest and everything, I've never had pain, but it's relaxed," Arundel said.
The procedure is much easier too. The pacemaker is placed into the heart by going through a small incision in the groin. After the procedure - Arundel stayed a night in the hospital and was able to go home the next day. And she now says she feels like she can conquer the world.
"The third day when I got home to our little park for a walk, I just walked one time around. Felt great," Arundel said.
The Micra is against the heart wall, leaving no bump under the skin or scar. Kasabali has so far only implanted 5 Micra pacemakers, he says that he sees this as the way of the future.