Open Accessibility Menu

Mary Washington Healthcare One of First to Offer World's Smallest Pacemaker

Mary Washington Healthcare One of First to Offer World's Smallest Pacemaker

Miniaturized Wireless Heart Device Provides Patients with the Most Advanced Pacing Technology Available

Fredericksburg, VA, March 15, 2018 - Mary Washington Hospital announced today that it is one of the first hospitals in the Commonwealth of Virginia to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. The Medtronic Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device, approved for Medicare reimbursement, that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology and is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure using this technology was performed at Mary Washington Hospital by Dr. Ashok Talreja, Cardiologist, on March 2, 2018.

Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia, a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm that is usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. The slowed heart rate prevents the heart from pumping enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. A pacemaker is implanted to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart that increase the heart rate.

Unlike traditional pacemakers, the device is the size of a small vitamin and does not require cardiac wires, known as “leads”, or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the Micra® TPS device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines via a minimally invasive approach. The device is also cosmetically invisible.

"This new leadless (wireless) pacemaker is a revolutionary shift in pacemaker technology. It does away with the device pocket and enhances the safety of the procedure for our patients,” says Dr. Ashok Talreja, Cardiologist and Medical Director, Electrophysiology, Mary Washington Healthcare.

Customization enables the Micra TPS to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on the individual patient’s activity levels.

Mary Washington Healthcare is a fully integrated, regional medical system that provides inpatient and outpatient care through 28 facilities, including Mary Washington Hospital, a 451-bed regional medical center, and Stafford Hospital, a 100-bed community hospital and services including Mary Washington Hospice. Mary Washington Healthcare is a not-for-profit health system with a longstanding commitment to provide care regardless of ability to pay. For more information about our services and facilities, visit Mary Washington Healthcare website.