Indian Path Medical Center | News Article

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Indian Path Medical Center offers the world’s smallest pacemaker

The team at Indian Path Medical Center, including Dr. Robert McQueen, who performed the procedure; the new pacemaker is comparable in size to a large vitamin pill.


KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Indian Path Medical Center today announced it is one of the first hospitals in Tennessee, and the first in the region, to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia.

The 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 at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure was performed by Dr. RobertDr. McQueen with Elijah Derrick, his first Micra TPS patient. McQueen at Indian Path on Friday, Nov. 10.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow heart rate, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, the Micra TPS provides an advantage over traditional pacemakers because the device does not require cardiac wires or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.

“To be able to offer this kind of care to our patients is amazing,” said Dr. McQueen, a cardiologist with Mountain States Medical Group Cardiology in Kingsport. “The patient I performed this procedure on is doing great and recovering faster than if he had a traditional pacemaker put in. The Micra TPS is cutting edge in cardiac care, and will be a life-improving option for patients throughout this region.”

The Micra TPS also incorporates a retrieval feature to enable retrieval of the device when possible; however, the device is designed to be left in the body. For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.

The Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla (T) full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and is designed to allow patients to be followed by their physicians and send data remotely via the Medtronic CareLink® Network.

The Micra TPS was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in April 2016, and has been granted Medicare reimbursement, allowing broad patient access to the novel pacing technology.