Cardiologist Is First On L.I. To Implant World’s Smallest Pacemaker

MIcra Transcatheter Pacing System compared to a nickel
Illustration shows the size of the MIcra Transcatheter Pacing System

MANHASSET, NY – North Shore University Hospital’s (NSUH) electrophysiology team is the first on Long Island to implant the world’s smallest cardiac pacemaker, one-tenth the size of a conventional pacemaker and comparable in size to a large vitamin.

The procedure is part of the Medtronic Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) Global Clinical Trial.

 Ram Jadonath, MD, director of electrophysiology, implanted the miniature pacemaker on Dec. 2 into Robert Johnston, a 77-year-old grandfather of two who traveled from Gilbertsville, NY, near Binghamton, to have the procedure.  The Micra TPS pacemaker is delivered through a catheter inserted in a large vein in the leg and positioned inside the heart wall and attached by tiny prongs.  The pacemaker sends electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device.

 “The miniaturized technology is designed to provide patients with advanced pacing technology of traditional pacemakers but with a less invasive approach,” Dr. Jadonath said.  “The tiny pacemaker does not require a surgical incision in the chest, or the creation of a ‘pocket’ under the skin, and does not require the use of leads as in conventional pacemakers.”

Mr. Johnston was visiting friends on Long Island last week when he felt stiffness in his left shoulder and tingling in his hand.  He said he didn’t want to take any chances and asked his friend to bring him to one of the North Shore-LIJ hospitals because his mother had been treated at LIJ Medical Center many years ago.

 “I knew I had a slow heart beat, but when I was in the hospital the doctors noted that it dropped down while I was sleeping,” Mr. Johnston said.

 At NSUH, Mr. Johnston met Dr. Jadonath, who explained the technology to him.

 “I was a major in the Marines and an administrator for the Board of Education, so I have a lot of experience dealing with people,” said Mr. Johnston.  “I felt a high level of confidence with him, he communicated the information well and I felt it was the right way to go."

 An investigational device, the Micra TPS pacemaker is being evaluated in an international trial that will enroll up to 780 patients at approximately 50 centers.

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