PeaceHealth St. Joseph heart patient receives world’s smallest pacemaker

Medtronic Micra pacemaker

December 13, 2017

Bellingham, Wash.,— The first Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) implant procedure was performed at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. The Micra® is the world’s smallest pacemaker to help treat patients with slow heart rates (bradycardia).

The Micra® is the first pacemaker that is attached to the heart directly, without any wires and without the need for creating a special “pocket.” It is 93 percent smaller than a standard pacemaker by volume, and it has an estimated average battery life of 12 years.

John MacGregor, MD, who performed the procedure at PeaceHealth St. Joseph’s, shares, “I want people to realize that the Micra® Transcatheter pacing system represents a truly revolutionary change in pacing technology. Never before has the option of a functional permanent pacemaker without wires existed. This changes everything, and it is a very exciting advancement in the field of heart rhythm disorder management!”

The Micra® is designed to be used in patients who have symptomatic bradycardia. They often feel significant fatigue or dizziness, can experience shortness of breath, and can even suffer from fainting spells and may not be good candidates for standard pacemaker systems. Patients with absent or blocked veins preventing standard pacemaker placement, or high risk of infection or other complication with standard pacemakers, may be good candidates for the Micra® system. Some patients may have a strong preference to avoid a traditional pacemaker for cosmetic or lifestyle-related reasons; the Micra® may be an attractive alternative in that scenario.

The Micra® pacemaker allows a patient to receive the benefits of pacing, in the challenging scenario of no good options for placing a standard pacemaker system. This pacemaker can help these patients enjoy a good quality of life in the face of complex and significant health challenges.

Learn more about cardiology services at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center at https://www.peacehealth.org/st-joseph/cardiovascular-center.

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About PeaceHealth: Based in Vancouver, Wash., PeaceHealth is a not-for-profit Catholic health system offering care to communities in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. In 1890, the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace founded what has become PeaceHealth. PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center provides quality care for northwest Washington with its full-service 253-bed hospital and PeaceHealth Medical Group clinics. Key services in Bellingham include comprehensive cardiology, oncology, orthopedic and rehabilitation services and a joint venture outpatient imaging service. 

PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center
2901 Squalicum Pkwy
Bellingham, WA 98225
360-734-5400

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