Minimally invasive permanent pacemaker implantation immediately after birth: from delivery room to heart surgery

Cardiol Young. 2022 May;32(5):702-704. doi: 10.1017/S1047951121002808. Epub 2021 Jul 23.


Introduction: Congenital atrioventricular block is diagnosed in uterine life, at birth, or early in life. Atrioventricular blocks can be life threatening immediately at birth so urgent pacemaker implantation techniques are requested. Reasons can be cardiac or non-cardiac, but regardless of the reason, operations are challenging. We aimed to present technical procedure and operative results of pacemaker implantation in neonates.

Materials and methods: Between June 2014 and February 2021, 10 neonates who had congenital atrioventricular block underwent surgical operation to implant permanent epicardial pacemaker by using minimally invasive technique. Six of the patients were female and four of them were male. Mean age was 4.3 days (0-11), while three of them were operated on the day of birth. Mean weight was 2533 g (1200-3300).

Results: Operations were achieved through subxiphoidal minimally skin incision. Epicardial 25 mm length dual leads were implanted on right ventricular surface and generators were fixed on the right (seven patients) or left (three patients) diaphragmatic surface by incising pleura. There were no complication, morbidity, and mortality related to surgery.

Conclusion: Few studies have characterised the surgical outcomes following epicardial permanent pacemaker implantation in neonates. The surgical approach is attractive and compelling among professionals so we aimed to present the techniques and results in patients who required permanent pacemaker implantation in the first month of life.

Keywords: Permanent pacemaker; cardiac surgery; minimally invasive procedures; neonate.

MeSH terms

  • Atrioventricular Block* / etiology
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / methods
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Child, Preschool
  • Delivery Rooms
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pacemaker, Artificial* / adverse effects
  • Pregnancy