Cardiac Device / Electrophysiology Clinic

Pacemaker and Pacemaker Analysis
A pacemaker is a small device that is implanted to help control abnormal heart rhythms or heart rates. This device uses low-energy electrical pulses in order to help the heart beat at a normal rate.

Once a pacemaker has been implanted, it needs to be analyzed in the office once or twice a year. In addition, the patient needs to have the pacemaker checked over the telephone every month or every other month depending on the age of the pacemaker.

The telephone checks are to evaluate two basic parameters:

  • The status of the battery
  • The competence of the connections from the pacemaker to the heart

If a problem is found, the patient will be advised to have further evaluation.

Hunterdon Cardiovascular Associates is now using Medtronic Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS):The World’s Smallest, Minimally Invasive Cardiac Pacemaker

Unlike traditional pacemakers, the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a miniaturized, fully self-contained pacemaker that delivers the most advanced pacing technology available to patients via a minimally invasive approach.

  • World’s Smallest Pacemaker

    • Less than one-tenth the size of traditional pacemakers (~1cc)
    • Cosmetically invisible to the patient after implantation
    • Comparable in size to a large vitamin
    • Weighs the same as a penny (2 g)
  • Advanced Pacing Technology

    • Is attached to the heart via small tines and delivers electrical impulses that pace the heart through an electrode at the end of the device
    • Does not require the use of wires, known as “leads,” to deliver pacing therapy
    • Has an estimated average 12-year battery life
    • Is approved for full body MRI scans
    • Responds to patients’ activity levels by automatically adjusting therapy
  • Minimally Invasive Procedure

    • Delivered directly into the heart through a catheter inserted in the femoral vein
    • Does not require a surgical incision or creation of a “pocket” under the skin, which eliminates any visible sign of the device and a potential source of complications
    • The Micra design incorporates a retrieval feature to enable retrieval when possible; however, the device is designed to be left in the body

Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) and ICD Analysis
An ICD is a small device that is implanted to detect abnormal heart rhythms. If a dangerous and potentially lethal abnormal heart rhythm is detected the device will deliver an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat. ICDs have been very useful in preventing sudden death in patients with known, sustained ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. Studies have shown that they may have a role in preventing cardiac arrest in high-risk patients who haven’t had, but are at risk for, life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias.

Once an ICD has been implanted, it needs to be in the office twice a year. In addition, the patient needs to have the ICD checked over the telephone every one to three months.

Implantable Loop Recorder (ILR)
An implantable loop recorder is an insertable cardiac monitor which is a small device that is implanted under the skin in order to continuously monitor heart rhythms. It continuously stores information so that various arrhythmias can be detected which may be occurring very infrequently. This recorder is generally left in place for up to three years. Periodically, information is downloaded from the device to assess for any potentially unrecognized arrhythmias.

Cardiac Ablation
A cardiac ablation is a procedure that can help to correct abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation, atrial flutter, supraventricular tachycardia, and ventricular tachycardia. The ablation works by scarring or destroying certain tissue in your heart that is responsible for triggering or sustaining an abnormal heart rhythm. The procedure is performed usually using long, flexible tubes called catheters which are inserted through a vein or artery in the groin and directed to the heart in order to deliver various energy forms to modify the tissues in the heart that are responsible for causing an arrhythmia.

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