Some conditions - like a heart attack, congenital heart problems or simply aging - can cause the heart to beat irregularly. When this irregularity occurs, a pacemaker can be used to help control the pace and rhythm of your heart beat, restoring it to its normal pattern. This helps patients feel better and reduces the risk of developing heart failure in the future. However, traditional pacemakers require limits to certain activities and may lead to complications, such as infections. Now, a new device - called the Micra - offers the same lifesaving support with fewer complications.
The heart specialists at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison, and SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital - Oklahoma City are proud to be the among first to offer this technology. If you have been diagnosed with a heart rhythm problem, schedule an appointment today to learn if this is an option for you. We offer the most advanced, comprehensive cardiac care available so you can be certain you are getting the best care possible.
What is the Micra?
Traditional pacemakers are inserted near the collarbone under the skin. Leads connect from the device into veins and send electrical pulses to keep the heart regulated. However, those leads can create complications over time. The arteries can cling to the leads, the leads can become dislodged or the leads can become infected. In addition, in younger patients, more leads can be placed over time, potentially limiting natural blood flow.
The Micra is the world’s smallest, leadless pacemaker. The Micra is significantly smaller than a traditional pacemaker - only about an inch long - and is implanted directly into the heart’s right ventricle. The device’s four prongs provide direct electrical pulses to regulate the heartbeat.
Benefits of a Leadless Pacemaker
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that compared to traditional pacemakers, leadless pacemakers have fewer major complications and fewer hospital stays. In addition, leadless pacemakers offer the following benefits:
- Reduced long-term complications because there are no leads
- Procedure takes less time to perform than traditional pacemaker placement
- No visible chest scarring because the device is placed using a catheter
- No bump or physical reminder of a pacemaker under the skin
- Fewer post-implant activity restrictions
While they offer many benefits, leadless pacemakers are not appropriate for all patients. Schedule an appointment with a heart specialist today to learn whether you are a candidate for this procedure. Our team will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine the best plan of treatment for you.
The cardiac specialists at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital and SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital - Madison are excited to offer this option. Pacemakers have saved countless lives by keeping the heart beating at a normal rhythm, and this technology allows us to offer a broader spectrum of care to our patients. Contact us today for more information.