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Leadless Pacemaker Offers New Options for High Risk Patients

October 26, 2018

On Friday, October 5 the electrophysiology (EP) team at Kettering Medical Center performed a leadless pacemaker procedure, marking the first time a Kettering Physician Network physician placed this type of pacemaker.

Khawaja Baig, MD, Kettering Physician Network cardiologist and director of EP Labs at Kettering, performed the procedure with the electrophysiology team including KeithAnn Sayre, RT and Brittany Bair, RT.

The leadless pacemaker is unique because it is inserted through the femoral vein in the upper thigh using a straw-like catheter that carries the device into the right ventricle of the heart, explains Emir Stewart, RN, EP lab clinical coordinator. The surgeon then positions the leadless pacemaker within the heart, and when they release the catheter, the device stays in place.

This process differs greatly from the traditional dual-chamber pacemaker, which is inserted through the chest. A pocket is made to place the battery, leaving wires to hang around the heart. With the leadless pacemaker, patients experience an accelerated recovery time of just two days, where recovery from the traditional pacemaker can last from two to three weeks.

The procedure is especially beneficial for patients who do not have clear vascular access and would, therefore, need the pacemaker to be inserted through the groin. Dr. Baig says this procedure allows for better treatment for the high-risk patient population. The procedure is much lower risk for patients who are elderly, have kidney disease or atrial fibrillation, or other risk factors.

“It is important for patients who have difficult access,” says Dr. Baig. “It is cutting-edge technology that we have introduced for our patient population as a part of our mission and vision to bring the latest treatment options to our patients.”