Tiny Device sets Hearts Pacing
Jan 24, 2018
Advances in technology continue to transform the way in which cardiac surgery is performed at St George Private Hospital, surgery is being made easier for patients suffering from a slow heartbeat with a tiny new pacemaker now available which is the size of a large vitamin tablet, weighing less than a ten cent coin.
Pacemakers are inserted to send electrical pulses to the heart whenever it senses that the heartbeat is too slow. This new Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a leadless device placed directly in the heart without the need for a surgical pocket and wires connecting to the heart which the traditional pacemaker requires.
Cardiologists Dr Sean Gomes and Dr Maurits Binnekamp performed the first Micra procedure in Sydney‘s South at St George Private Hospital. Dr Gomes and Dr Binnekamp are both thrilled that patients can now access this service locally.
Cardiologist, Dr Sean Gomes and Dr Maurits Binnekam
“For patients this minimally invasive procedure means an improved cosmetic result as there is no scar or device visible under the skin. There is also potentially reduced risk of long term device infection. There is no lead involved in the pacemaker system which is considered as the “weak link” in the traditional pacemaker system requiring replacement or removal in a significant number of cases.”
“Essentially any patient who is a candidate for a single chamber pacemaker is a candidate for a leadless device. Patients who have a high risk of pacemaker infection would be considered especially good candidates.”
The procedure involves accessing the vein at the top of the leg and using a needle, a tube is then used to insert the leadless pacemaker directly into the heart with the use of X-Ray guidance. The procedure would usually be performed in less than 1 hour and the patient would be expected to be discharged the following day.
Dr Gomes, Dr Binnekamp and the St George Private Cardiac Team
Retired Boat Builder, Mr Graham Anthony Troy, 84 years, was the first patient in Sydney’s South to have the new device inserted and was pleasantly surprised at the recovery process;
“I’ve had issues with my heart since March 2017 with daily chest pain. My wife said she hadn’t seen me smile in a long time as a result. I was apprehensive about the procedure but only a day later and I’m on my feet and ready to go home.”
Graham’s wife of 53 years, Yvonne, also had a pacemaker inserted 12 months ago but through the traditional open procedure;
“I’m very relieved he followed in my footsteps to get the issue addressed although he doesn’t have the matching scar to prove it.”
First Micra Pacemaker patient, Mr Grahame Anthony Troy, with wife Yvonne and St George Private Cardiac Nurse Michelle