Bob Rivet didn’t expect to be a pioneer for modern medicine in Lousiana. However, now that the 91-year-old is resting comforably at home, he’s become aware of his newly earned status. Rivet is back home after a brief stay at CHRISTUS Highland Medical Center.
On Monday, May 22, 2017, Dr. Srikar Veerareddy assisted by Dr. Corky Davis and the CHRISTUS Cath Lab Team successfully implanted the world’s smallest pacemaker.
“I am amazed to be the first one in Louisiana to get this new type of pacemaker,” Rivet said. “My old pacemaker caused so many problems, and I even have a scar on my chest from the procedure. The fact that I have no incision and am ready to go home the very next day is incredible!”
Holding a prototype in his hand, Rivet posed for a picture at his home the day following his procedure. The prototype is comparable to the size of a large vitamin.
The Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is the name of the new type of heart device, approved by Medicare that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.
“As we expand our cardiovascular service line, we are looking for ways to bring the latest technology to CHRISTUS in the hands of our expert cardiologists,” Isaac Palmer, CHRISTUS Shreveport-Bossier Health System CEO, said. “We are excited that the procedure was successful and attribute that to our cath lab team and expert physicians. Our promise is to provide our community with smart medicine and healing grace.”
One of the conditions treated with a traditional pacemaker transplant and now with the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is bradycardia. Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow heartbeat, 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 help restore the heart’s normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.
With this new technology, we are excited to be able to offer a safe procedure without the complications from traditional pacemakers-Dr. Srikar Veerareddy, M.D., F.A.C.C., F.H.R.S
Physicians at CHRISTUS like the advantages of the Medtronic’s Micra TPS. Unlike traditional pacemakers, the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.
The Micra TPS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2016, and has been granted Medicare reimbursement, allowing broader patient access.
“With this new technology, we are excited to be able to offer a safe procedure without the complications from traditional pacemakers,” Dr. Veerareddy said.