June 27, 2017

The ETMC Cardiovascular Institute in Tyler now offers the world’s smallest pacemaker called Micra® Transcatheter Pacing system (TPS), to regulate bradycardia, a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute.

The device, which is the size of a large vitamin, is small enough to be inserted through a catheter, making it one-tenth the size of the original pacemaker.

“Beyond the novelty and potential cosmetic benefits of this device to patients that have a medical indication for it, the procedure removes the source of the most common issues related to pacemakers: need for a ‘skin pocket’ and use of leads to connect the pacemaker to the heart,” said Dr. Raul Torres-Heisecke, cardiologist, with Tyler CVC. “This reduces the likelihood of complications, as well as downtime after the procedure to about a week (down from four weeks).”

The new pacemaker automatically can adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity level. The Micra® TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for full-body magnetic resonance imaging scans, and is designed to allow patients to be followed by their physicians and send data remotely. The device also incorporates a retrieval feature, if needed, and can be permanently turned off, so it can remain in the body, if a new device needs to be implanted, without risk of electrical interaction.

The Micra® TPS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2016, and has been approved for Medicare reimbursement.