Beebe first in state to implant leadless pacemaker device

September 26, 2023

Beebe Healthcare is committed to delivering the most novel, advanced and innovative treatment options for patients. That was recently exemplified when the first cardiac patient in Delaware to receive the Micra AV2 leadless pacemaker underwent the minimally invasive implantation procedure at Beebe.

The procedure was led by Maria Pia del Corral, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist who is a leading provider in the region for the implantation of leadless pacemaker devices and the first doctor on Delmarva to implant the Micra AV2.

The Micra AV2 has revolutionized the process of lifesaving care and optimized long-term outcomes for patients diagnosed with life-threatening heart conditions who require a pacemaker in order to survive. Standard pacemakers are designed to be placed directly in the chest, typically through a five-centimeter incision, with tiny wires that feed into the heart chamber. The wires, called leads, increase risk for infection.

Alternatively, the Micra AV2 is an incredibly small, leadless (wireless) device that is placed into the right ventricle of the heart. The procedure is performed using a minimally invasive technique, which routes the coin-sized pacemaker from a tiny incision made in the upper area of the thigh, through the body and directly to the heart. This approach minimizes risk for complications during the procedure, does not require an incision across the chest, and essentially eliminates the long-term risk for infection.

“The Micra pacemaker simplifies the process of care for the patient, not only at the time of surgery, but also in the years that follow,” said del Corral. “You can’t see the device under the skin, the risk for infection is minimal, and the battery life is longer. All of these factors streamline and optimize the care experience for our patients.”

Pacemakers are often recommended for patients diagnosed with bradycardia, a condition in which the heart beats fewer than 60 times per minute and may not pump enough blood to the body when it is physically active. The device is often recommended for these patients due to its ability to mimic the natural heart rhythm. Pacemakers monitor heart rhythm and regulate it automatically. Structurally, the Micra AV2 pacemaker device is 93% smaller than standard pacemakers and has an extended average battery life, typically ranging from 16 to 17 years.

Del Corral said Beebe’s integration of the Micra AV2 into its cardiovascular services offerings has positioned the hospital as a regional leader providing the most advanced treatment options for the patients it serves. She credits her colleagues Mouhanad Freih, MD, interventional cardiologist and medical director of the structural heart program at Beebe, and Ehtasham Qureshi, MD, medical director of the cardiac catheterization lab and chair of cardiology at Beebe, for their expertise and diligence in making innovation in care a key priority at Beebe.

“Dr. Freih is another leading physician in the region when it comes to implantation of leadless pacemaker devices, and he and Dr. Qureshi played instrumental roles as we worked to bring the Micra pacemaker to Beebe,” said del Corral. “We are committed to advancing healthcare for the people of Sussex County, and are proud of this milestone achievement and what it means for our patients.”


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