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  • The World’s Smallest Pacemaker is Changing Lives
    02/27/2018

    The World’s Smallest Pacemaker is Changing Lives

    For patients suffering from erratic or irregular heart activity (arrhythmia), particularly bradycardia, a new medical revolution promises to transform the quality of their care and their lives. The standard medical response, installing a pacemaker to maintain a steady heart rhythm, has entered into new territory with the invention and development of the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, which at a fraction of the size of a traditional pacemaker, makes it the smallest in the world. As it turns out however, its small stature delivers huge results when it comes to taking care of patients, and owing to these increased benefits, the Medtronic Micra promises to change the future of cardiology.

    Benefits of the Medtronic Micra

    As mentioned, bradycardia is the most common medical condition treated by pacemakers. Without the assistance of a pacemaker to send electrical impulses to help boost the heart’s efforts, patients risk fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fainting spells. Owing to its small size, the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System requires neither cardiac wires nor insertion of a surgical pocket for delivering a pacing therapy. Cosmetically invisible, the Micra automatically adjusts its pacing therapy to correspond with patient activity level.

    Indeed, it is small enough to be delivered via a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with the aid of small tines, which provides a highly effective and safe alternative to traditionally sized pacemakers. The two tines have 15 times the holding force to keep the device securely in place and to dramatically minimalize the tissue trauma associated with deployment, repositioning, and retrieval.

    Designed to be minimally invasive, the device offers a 99 percent implant success rate with 48 percent fewer major complications than the traditional pacemaker, and thanks to its ultra-low energy requirements, the device offers an average battery life of twelve years. Moreover, while it can be retrieved as necessary, the Micra TPS can just as easily and safely be left in the body. Should the patient require more than the one device, the first can be turned off permanently to ensure that there are no electrical interactions.

    The Successful Story of Ruth Bissett

    For Salem resident Ruth Bissett, the Federal Drug Administration’s 2016 approval of the Micra TPS was providential. The retired bus driver suffers from a persistent atrial fibrillation that causes chronic fluttering of the heart. Treated with medication and non-invasive “ablation” surgery for more than a decade, Ruth’s latest cardioversion procedure failed, which prompted her cardiologist’s decision to suggest the procedure.

    According to Ruth, following the 25-minute procedure, the implanting went off without a hitch. “I can’t even feel it, and the process of getting ready took longer than the surgery itself,” she said. Reporting that she felt great, Ruth was the first recipient of the device at Salem Health Hospital in Oregon.

    The Future of Cardiology

    In terms of the future of cardiology, the FDA’s approval of the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System creates an environment of non-invasive pacemaker technology that leads to increased patient outcomes and lower instances of major problems associated with the traditionally sized pacemakers. Specifically, the lack of any electrical leads means that that is one less problem standing in the way of quality care.

    Thanks to MRI SureScan technology, the Micra TPS allows for safe scanning with either a 1.5T or 3T full body MRI scan. Further, the small device is designed to allow patients to be followed by their physicians via the Medtronic CareLink Network, which provides a platform to send remote data back to the patient’s doctor. Ease of deployment, superior medical results, and heightened patient comfort points to the future of cardiology with the miniaturized technology encased in the Micra TPS.

    If you or a loved one have questions about pacemakers, our experienced team of cardiologists would be happy to discuss them with you. Please visit our website: www.cvgcares.com.

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