A Publication of WTVP

This tiny device is a real game-changer for many patients.

Innovation is important in medicine. As healthcare providers, it’s our responsibility to make sure we’re caring for patients with the best possible technologies and resources. At UnityPoint Health, we’re always working to stay on the leading edge.

I’m proud of the services we offer the community, and I’m especially excited about a new procedure we’re making available to patients who are living with an abnormal heart rhythm called bradycardia. This new procedure provides life-changing relief through a minimally invasive procedure and the world’s smallest pacemaker.

Bradycardia is a condition that causes a person’s heart to beat slowly—usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. This makes it hard for the heart to keep up with daily activities and exercise. A person who is living with bradycardia knows it. They experience its effects in a number of ways, including fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness and fainting spells. Until recently, the primary treatment for prolonged bradycardia was through a traditional pacemaker implanted through a small incision in the chest. Wires are inserted into the heart through the patient’s veins, and a battery pack is inserted under the skin. It takes about eight weeks for the battery pack to settle into place, and a patient’s activity is restricted during this time. But with a new procedure, that’s about to change.

UnityPoint Health is now offering a new kind of pacemaker called the Micra. This tiny device is a real game-changer for many patients. The Micra is less than one tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. In fact, it’s not much bigger than a multivitamin. Unlike a traditional pacemaker, it doesn’t require wires. Instead, the Micra is inserted through a catheter and delivers electrical impulses through electrodes on its ends.

Since there is no battery pack inserted under the skin, patients don’t notice it. There’s no incision required, and recovery time is faster. It also makes living with a pacemaker much easier. The Micra automatically adjusts to a patient’s activity levels. It’s also safe for patients with a Micra to have an MRI. Early data suggests the Micra can reduce complications and risk of infection.

Finding new and better ways to care for patients is a healthcare provider’s duty. That’s why I am so proud UnityPoint Health offers the Micra pacemaker procedure. It helps patients get back to doing the things that really matter in a way that is less complicated than some other methods. Living with bradycardia can be challenging. But it’s our job to find ways to help people overcome those challenges. I am proud of our team for leading the way in innovation, using this small device to make a very big impact. iBi