Ashtabula County Medical Center | ACMC Pulse | Summer 2022

Smaller pacemaker is a game-changer A NEW PACEMAKER the size of a vitamin capsule is being used at Ashtabula County Medical Center to restore the quality of life for patients with chronic heart problems. “It’s a game-changer for some of our patients,” said Perry Fleisher, MD, a Cleveland Clinic Cardiologist who sees patients fulltime at ACMC. “We are among the first hospitals our size in Ohio to offer this technology. It was previously only available at large academic medical centers. I am excited to bring this to Ashtabula County and ACMC’s patients.” Restoring rhythms For nearly 65 years, pacemakers have kept hearts beating by sending a pulse that maintains a natural heart rhythm. A healthy heart beats 60 to 100 times per minute. A slow heart rate is known as bradycardia. It may not be noticeable immediately, but if the slow heart rate persists, it may interfere with a person’s ability to maintain exercise or engage in other activities for as long as they once could. They may also feel dizzy or tired, have shortness of breath, or may faint. A cardiologist can diagnose the cause of bradycardia and recommend treatment options, such as a pacemaker. Traditionally, a pacemaker, about the size of a tea bag, is placed under the skin with electrode leads running to the heart. The new MicraTM pacemaker, now available at ACMC, is the size of a large vitamin capsule. There are many benefits to the MicraTM. It attaches directly inside the heart rather than being placed under the skin with wires leading to the heart. It is inserted through the femoral vein in the groin during a minimally invasive procedure. The MicraTM automatically adjusts to increased physical activity and will adjust the heart rate appropriate to that activity. The device will continue to operate for up to 13 years and can be replaced. The MicraTM is also programmed by the cardiologist to meet the patient’s individual needs, and that programming can be adjusted without the need for further surgery. Enhancing lives Patients who have had a leadless pacemaker say they appreciate that there is no bump under the skin and no scar on their chest. They also have fewer restrictions to activity, since there are no leads to damage. Plus, they can have diagnostic tests, like MRIs, without risking damage to the device. “This device also significantly lowers the risk of infection and other complications since there is no chest incision,” Dr. Fleisher said. “We’ve heard from patients who say this new pacemaker has changed their lives for the better,” said ACMC Healthcare System President and CEO Michael Habowski. New technology ACMC Pulse • 7