Leadless Pacemakers | MedStar Health
A close up photo of a gloved hand holding a leadless pacemaker device in a clinical setting.

Devices that regulate your heartbeat with electrical pulses

A leadless pacemaker is smaller than an AAA battery, is placed inside the heart’s right ventricle—without the need for wire leads.

Certain conditions, such as bradycardia, can cause your heart to beat too slowly. Traditional pacemakers are connected to the heart using wire leads. A leadless pacemaker can deliver electrical pulse therapy into the heart from small capsules, which are smaller than an AAA battery, placed inside the heart’s right atrium and right ventricle - without the need for wire leads.  Sensing and pacing occur in both heart chambers and synchrony between the chambers is possible through implant-to-implant communication. In place of wires, the patient’s own blood is used to transfer information between the heart’s right upper and lower chambers.

“The leadless dual-chamber pacemaker is an excellent treatment option to treat bradycardia,” said cardiac electrophysiologist Cyrus Hadadi, MD, associate director of Cardiac Arrhythmia Research at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “There are no wires implanted in veins, no metal device under the skin, and no surgical incision. This means the potential for less risk, greater comfort, and fewer post-procedure restrictions.” Compared to traditional pacing, leadless technology can eliminate inflammation, scars, and long-term problems, such as wire insulation breaks, vein blockage, and device infection.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center was one of the first hospitals in the county to implant dual chamber leadless pacemakers after FDA approval and is the only medical center in the Mid-Atlantic region to offer patients this new breakthrough technology. To find out more about leadless pacemakers or request a consultation, please call (202) 577-7685.  

Our Electrophysiology Program is a national leader in managing complex arrhythmias. We have one of the most sophisticated cardiac EP laboratories in North America. Our doctors perform more than 5,000 electrophysiology procedures each year.

Dual-Chamber Leadless Pacemaker Now Available for Patients with Abnormally Slow Heart Rhythm

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Electrophysiologist Dr. Cyrus Hadadi interview after the first dual chamber leadless pacemakers were implanted on November 6, 2023.

What to expect during a leadless pacemaker procedure

Dr. Cyrus Hadadi in a cardiac catheterization lab at MedStar Health.

Before your procedure begins, we’ll insert an IV in your arm or hand to provide medication and fluids as well as a sedative to help you relax. You may be connected to an electrocardiogram so we can monitor your heart while the pacemaker is placed.

A local anesthetic will be injected to numb a small incision site in the arm or groin. A thin tube called a catheter will be inserted into the blood vessel, and the doctor will guide the catheter into your right ventricle using X-ray imaging. The doctor will attach the pacemaker to the wall of the right atrium and right ventricle. When the pacemakers are in place, the catheter is removed, and you begin your recovery.

After the procedure, you’ll be monitored for several hours. You’ll need to keep the leg or arm in which the catheter was inserted straight for a period of time. The procedure usually takes about two hours, and patients can go home the same or next day.

A close up of a computer screen showing the placement of a leadless pacemaker device in the cardiac electrophysiology lab.

Electrophysiology program


We are leaders in developing and using the latest procedures and technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders, and our cardiac electrophysiology laboratory is one of the most sophisticated in North America.


Arrhythmia (heart rhythm disorders)

An arrhythmia is an abnormal or irregular heartbeat caused by a disturbance in the electrical impulses that coordinate your heart rate. This can cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or irregularly. 


Slow heart rate. If your heart is beating fewer than 60 beats per minute, you might be experiencing bradycardia, a type of arrhythmia.

Fainting (syncope)

Syncope, commonly called fainting, is a temporary loss of consciousness caused by a drop in blood flow to the brain.


Cardiac catheterization

Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.


An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.

Event monitors

An event monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but whereas an electrocardiogram takes place over a few minutes, an event monitor measures heart rhythms over a much longer time.

Holter monitors

A Holter monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It’s similar to an electrocardiogram, but whereas an electrocardiogram records over a few minutes, a Holter monitor records over the course of a day or two.

Stress tests

Stress tests are used to assess how your heart works during physical activity. There are several types of stress tests, including treadmill or bike stress tests, nuclear stress tests, stress echocardiograms, and chemically induced stress tests.

Tilt table test

Tilt table testing allows your doctor to determine the cause of explained fainting while monitoring changes in your blood pressure and heart rate while tilted at different angles.

Our locations

Distance from Change locationEnter your location

MedStar Washington Hospital Center

110 Irving St. NW
Washington, DC 20010

MedStar Georgetown University Hospital

3800 Reservoir Rd. NW
Washington, DC, 20007

MedStar St Mary's Hospital

25500 Point Lookout Rd.
Leonardtown, MD 20650

MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

201 E. University Pkwy.
Baltimore, MD 21218

MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center

7503 Surratts Rd.
Clinton, MD 20735

MedStar Montgomery Medical Center

18101 Prince Philip Dr.
Olney, MD 20832

Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute

Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.