Summa Health is now offering the world's smallest pacemaker — comparable in size to a large vitamin — to patients with abnormal heart rhythms.
Dr. Tyler Taigen and Dr. Michael Pelini performed the first two pacemaker procedures at Summa Health System on Aug. 16. The patients, who were home from the hospital a day after surgery, were an 84-year-old man from Cuyahoga Falls with atrial fibrillation and an 83-year-old man from Wadsworth with bradycardia, according to a news release.
The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS), a new type of heart device approved this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, offers the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. It is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the U.S., according to the release. Instead of cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical "pocket" under the skin, the device is small enough to be delivered via a catheter and implanted directly into the heart. The company says that provides a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers.
Summa said it's one of only a handful of hospitals in Ohio to offer the Micra TPS and the first in the Akron/Canton/Youngstown area.
At least 2.7 million Americans live with atrial fibrillation, a quivering or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) often too fast or too slow that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Bradycardia is characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute, a rate at which the heart isn't able to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting.
"Summa Health offers world's smallest pacemaker" originally appeared in Crain's Cleveland Business.