A series about people, products and discoveries that changed the world.
The most futuristic of the pacemakers that Vancouver cardiologist Matthew Bennett tucks into the lower chambers of his patients’ hearts are about the size of a bullet.
The capsule-like innovations are called leadless pacemakers because they don’t have the insulated wires or “leads” that connect a traditional pacemaker’s implanted pulse generator to a faulty heart.
Heart-rhythm specialists such as Dr. Bennett insert these modern pacemakers through the leg, thread them up through the body and into the right ventricle, where the devices provide computer-guided electrical pulses that keep the heart ticking in time.
“That’s been the biggest recent advance,” said Dr. Bennett, a clinical assistant professor at the University of British Columbia’s medical school who inserts pacemakers at…