Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute First in Area to Offer the World’s Smallest Pacemaker


Hand holding world's smallest pacemaker

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Dec. 13, 2017) – Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute (BHVI) is the first in the area to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia, a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. The transcatheter pacing system (TPS) is a new type of heart device that is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker and does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin. The first procedure at BHVI was completed by Sumit Verma, M.D., FACC, on November 13.

“The device restores the patient's heart rate to a normal and physiological rate in keeping with the patient's activity level,” says Dr. Verma. “It is an ideal device for selected patients who have atrial fibrillation, those who have difficulty with access such as dialysis patients and those who wish to avoid a visible scar. This technology will change how we approach pacing in the future.”

Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms like dizziness and shortness of breath by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

Dr. Verma used Medtronic’s Micra TPS device for the procedure. It 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. Following the procedure, most patients are able to return to normal activities within their fitness levels.

”Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute continues to bring the latest technology and procedures to our community,” says Victor Hall, vice president, Baptist Heart & Vascular Institute. “We are dedicated to offering the best possible care to our patients.”

Image courtesy of Medtronic