The progressive improvement of conventional pacemakers and in techniques of implantation has greatly reduced the reoperation rate since 1964. This rate may be further reduced if radiofrequency models can be perfected, a Philadelphia thoracic surgeon suggests.
At a recent meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, Dryden P. Morse, MD, reported experience with most types of commercially available pacemakers over the past five years.
Dr. Morse, chief of the thoracic and cardiovascular surgery department of Albert Einstein Medical Center, and his co-workers there and at Hahnemann Medical College, including Henry T. Nichols, MD, and Richard Monheit, MD, have implanted such devices in an average of 25 patients per year—a total of 135 implantations. Wire breakage, a major cause of reoperation, was most frequent in 1964, occurring in eight patients. In 1965, breakage occurred in five patients, but this year, to date, breakage has occurred in only two patients.