Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center and Florida Hospital New Smyrna now offer the world's smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia, a medical condition characterized by a slow or irregular heartbeat.
Called the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), this new type of heart device provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.
Electrophysiologists Dr. Hanscy Seide and Dr. Huijian James Wang performed the first procedure at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach on May 2. Cardiologist Dr. Surya Rao performed the first procedure at Florida Hospital New Smyrna on June 23.
"Patients with bradycardia have 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," said Tim Farley, cardiovascular administrator for the Florida Hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties. "Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia. This device helps restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieves symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate as needed."
Approximately the size of a large vitamin, this new pacemaker does not require cardiac wires (also known as leads) or a surgical "pocket" under the skin as traditional pacemakers do. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart.
"This new implant gives patients a cosmetically invisible and safe alternative to conventional pacemakers, all without the complications associated with the wires or leads," said Farley. "In addition, this pacemaker is designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient's individual activity levels."
The Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla (T) full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
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.