The Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute at St. David’s Medical Center recently became the first facility in Texas to use the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) after receiving FDA approval.
The system is a new type of heart device that provides patients with an advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. Micra is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the United States.
The procedure was performed by Robert Canby, MD and Amin Al-Ahmad, MD, electrophysiologists, to treat bradycardia — a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath and/or fainting spells.
Unlike traditional pacemakers, the Micra TPS — which is about the size of a large vitamin or capsule — does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy, making it virtually invisible.
Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small prongs, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.
The Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla full-body magnetic resonance imaging scans, providing patients with access to advanced imaging diagnostic procedures, if needed.
Additionally, it incorporates a feature to enable retrieval of the device if needed (although the device is designed to be left in the body). For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS can be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body when a new device is implanted without risk of an electrical interaction.
As previously reported by MDT, the Micra Transcatheter Pacing System was approved by the FDA for use in the United States in April and hospitals in other states have started to use it over the past couple of months.