Feb 24, 2022 RWJUH Somerset Offers World's Smallest Pacemakers

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) Somerset, an RWJBarnabas Health facility,now offersthe world’s smallest pacemakers, the Micra™ VR and Micra™ AV Transcatheter Pacing Systems (TPS), to patients. The hospital’s first procedure implanting the Micra device was recently performed by cardiologist Alexander Ivanov, MD.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, Micra is less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers yet delivers advanced pacing technology to patients via a minimally invasive approach. During the implant procedure, the device is passed through a large vein from the groin to the heart and attached to the heart with small tines. This pacemaker delivers tiny electrical impulses that pace the heart when it goes too slow.

“Unlike traditional pacemakers, Micra does not require wires or leads that go from the pacemaker under the collar bone to the heart inside the chest. Micra also does not require a surgical ‘pocket’ in the chest under the skin, where the pacemaker is placed. These advantages result in fewer potential complications for patients,” said Dr. Ivanov. “Because it is so small and can be implanted through a minimally invasive procedure, there are no visible signs or reminders that there is a medical device under the skin. Patients have fewer restrictions following the procedure and can move their shoulders freely, allowing them to get back to their normal activities quickly.”

Approved by the FDA in 2016, Micra VR was the first leadless pacing system available globally. Studies have shown a significant reduction in complications compared to traditional transvenous single chamber pacemakers. Micra AV is able to coordinate upper and lower heart chambers (atria and ventricles). It was approved by the FDA in 2020, expanding leadless pacing to more patients.

“The Micra pacemaker is another great advance for our cardiac catheterization lab,” said cardiologist Edward Rachofsky, MD, medical director of RWJUH Somerset’s cardiac catheterization lab. “It demonstrates our commitment to keep pace with the latest innovations to give our patients access to the full scope of cardiology treatment options available.”

RWJUH Somerset has earned a 5-star rating for Pacemaker Procedure outcomes fromHealthgrades, the leading resource connecting consumers, physicians and health systems.

The hospital recently renovated its three cardiac catheterization labs. The newest lab features the Azurion with FlexArm image guided therapy system, which delivers high quality imaging with low X-ray dose levels.

In addition to pacemaker implants, procedures performed in the hospital’s cardiac catheterization laboratory include emergency and elective coronary angioplasty, cardiac catheterizations and peripheral imaging and interventions.

The hospital’s cardiology services comprise a comprehensive range of diagnostic services available in its newly renovated Cardiac Diagnostic Testing Department on the hospital’s second floor, including angiograms, computed tomography (CT) scans, echocardiograms and ultrasounds. A three-phase cardiac rehabilitation program is offered in Hillsborough for patients who have recently suffered a heart attack or who are recovering from an angioplasty, cardiac surgery or heart transplant.

The hospital also recently renovated its 2-West and 2-East Cardiology Pavilions, which feature private rooms with “smart beds” and the latest wireless telemetry system.

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset is one of only two hospitals in New Jersey to receive the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval for its acute myocardial infarction program (care of heart attack patients) and has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as “high performing” in the care of congestive heart failure patients.

For more information about Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset’s cardiology program, visit www.rwjbh.org/heart. For a physician referral, call 888-724-7123.