ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – On March 5, a multidisciplinary team at Presbyterian Hospital became the first in Albuquerque to implant the Medtronic Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), the world's smallest pacemaker.
Approved for Medicare reimbursement for patients with symptomatic bradycardia, a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, the Micra TPS is a new type of heart device. It provides patients with advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker.
"We are excited to be the first in Albuquerque to offer this new technology to patients with symptomatic bradycardia," said Lawrence Nair, MD, a general cardiologist and electrophysiologist with Presbyterian Heart and Vascular Care who led the Micra TPS surgical team. "While traditional pacemakers are still an effective way of treating slow or irregular heart rhythms, this new device offers patients a less invasive, cosmetically-invisible option."
Pacemakers are the most common way to treat symptomatic bradycardia. They restore normal rhythm by sending electrical impulses to the heart, which helps to relieve common symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and fainting spells.
Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016, the Micra TPS is about the size of a large vitamin and is small enough to be implanted directly into the heart via transfemoral catheter without permanent leads.
"Traditional pacemakers have wires or leads that stay within the heart and conduct electrical signals between the heart and the pacemaker generator," added Dr. Nair. "The Micra TPS is self-contained and does not require leads."
The Micra TPS is designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient's activity levels. For patients who need more than one heart device, the Micra TPS can be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.
About Presbyterian Healthcare Services
Presbyterian Healthcare Services exists to improve the health of patients, members and the communities we serve. Presbyterian is a locally owned, not-for-profit healthcare system of eight hospitals, a statewide health plan and a growing multi-specialty medical group. Founded in New Mexico in 1908, it is the state's largest private employer with more than 11,000 employees.