An advance in pacemaker implants is now available at Franciscan Health Michigan City after Dr. William Espar performed the hospital’s first procedure using the Medtronic Micra leadless pacemaker.
Dr. Espar has been doing pacemaker implant surgeries for 22 years and traveled to Minneapolis for training on the new device. The Micra leadless pacemaker is the size of a vitamin and is inserted into the patient through the groin and guided up into the muscle of the heart.
The device provides an alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with cardiac wires, or leads. “There’s no incision, there’s nothing to get infected, the battery lasts a lot longer and there are fewer complications with it,” Dr. Espar said.
Dr. Espar performed Franciscan Health Michigan City’s first implant of the Micra pacemaker on an 81-year-old Michigan City woman on Nov. 30. After an overnight stay, he said the patient was able to go home after breakfast the next morning.
The new procedure would benefit people who are having fainting episodes, those suffering from a slow pulse and those on dialysis, as well as elderly or overweight patients. “Right now, since it’s only a single-chamber device, there’s just a small niche of people that can use it,” Espar said.
However, Dr. Espar expects the next generation of leadless pacemakers, using Bluetooth technology and dual chamber capability, will broaden the number of heart patients who will benefit within the next year.