Revolutionary Leadless Pacemaker System Implanted Successfully in San Diego for Arrhythmia Treatment

UC San Diego Health Becomes First in Region to Perform Dual-Chamber, Leadless Pacemaker Implantation

In San Diego, UC San Diego Health has achieved a remarkable milestone by successfully implanting the world’s first dual-chamber and leadless pacemaker system. This innovative technology aims to help individuals with irregular heart rhythms, known as arrhythmias, which can lead to complications such as palpitations, fainting, and stroke.

The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, estimated to affect around 12.1 million people in the United States by 2030 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are the standard treatments used to regulate irregular heartbeats.

However, the new leadless pacemaker system offers a more minimally invasive option for patients by being placed in both chambers of the heart and utilizing novel communication technology. Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in July 2023, this advancement in technology opens up new possibilities for treating individuals with heart arrhythmias.

In February 2024, UC San Diego Health conducted the first implantation of the pacemaker system in a patient. Dr. Ulrika Birgersdotter-Green, a cardiologist and director of pacemaker and ICD services at UC San Diego Health, highlighted the importance of having the option to use a leadless pacemaker system on both sides of the heart to treat more individuals living with heart arrhythmias.

It is crucial to note that nearly 80% of patients who receive a pacemaker require a dual-chamber option. While leadless pacemakers have been preferred by patients, they were typically only available for individuals needing pacing on one side of the heart. This recent development represents a significant step forward in the treatment of arrhythmias and offers new hope for patients in need of such interventions.

UC San Diego Health’s achievement marks an essential milestone in medical innovation that will improve lives for millions worldwide who suffer from arrhythmias. The leadless pacemaker system is expected to revolutionize how we approach these conditions and provide hope for those seeking better treatment options.

The new technology works by placing two small electrodes into each chamber of the heart that communicate wirelessly with an external device called a receiver box outside the body.

This revolutionary device eliminates many complications associated with traditional implanted devices such as bleeding during surgery or infection after implantation.

Dr Birgersdotter-Green explained that this new technology provides doctors with more flexibility when it comes to treating patients with complex arrhythmias.

“With this dual-chamber leadless pacemaker system, we can now treat more patients with different types of arrhythmias,” she said.

“We can also adjust pacing rates based on individual needs rather than relying solely on predetermined settings.”

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