World’s Smallest Heart Pacemaker Implanted in Patient at Franciscan Health
INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana – An innovative leadless pacemaker designed to maintain normal heart rhythms has been implanted in a patient by electrophysiologists at Franciscan Health.
The Medtronic Micra™ Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is the world's smallest device of its kind, and its major advantage is that it eliminates the wires (or leads) that connect traditional pacemakers to the heart. The first Micra device in Indiana was recently implanted in a male patient at Franciscan Health Heart Center in Indianapolis.
Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells.
Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.
"Micra is intended only for patients who need a single chamber pacemaker and it is completely self-contained," said Robert Kinn, MD, FACC, electrophysiologist at Franciscan Health Heart Center and Franciscan Physician Network Indiana Heart Physicians, who performed the first procedure of its kind in Indiana. "Unlike most pacemakers that are placed in the patient's chest with leads running to the heart, Micra is implanted directly into the patient's heart via a minimally invasive procedure."
Roughly the size of a large vitamin capsule, Micra is more than 93 percent smaller than conventional pacemakers. It adjusts a patient’s heart rate automatically by sensing changes the body related to activity level and adjusts the heart rate accordingly.
"The leadless pacemaker is inserted directly into the heart through the femoral vein in the upper thigh, eliminating the need for chest incision or any other scarring," said Dr. Kinn. "The Micra is a breakthrough in the treatment of heart arrhythmias and related conditions allowing our patients to receive lifesaving care they need," Dr. Kinn noted.
Complications with other types of pacemakers often include broken wires, blockage in veins and higher risk infections.
Despite its miniaturized size, the Micra TPS has an estimated average battery life of more than 12 years which is similar to traditional pacemakers.
Patients are usually able to return to their usual activities after the procedure based on the recommendations of their doctors.
Micra was designed, tested, and approved to be used safely with MRI scanner as long as patient eligibility requirements are met. A patient's ID card specifies the implanted device model.
The Micra TPS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2016, and has been granted Medicare reimbursement, allowing broad patient access to the novel pacing technology.
By Joe Stuteville
Media Relations Manager, Central Indiana - firstname.lastname@example.org