Heart Pacing Devices
To help manage heart rhythms, doctors can insert a heart pacing device. Some devices help diagnose heart rhythm problems, and others treat them. The heart rhythm doctors at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City are some of the best in the country. With their expertise, you can be sure that you are receiving world-class care and the most advanced, trusted heart pacing devices.
Innovations in heart pacing devices
Two types of heart pacing systems that have become more sophisticated in recent years are permanent pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD).
Pacemakers are implanted beneath the skin on your chest and prevent the heart from beating too slowly. They send low-level electrical pulses to the heart to restore a normal heart rhythm.
Technology and equipment
- EMBLEM™ MRI S-ICD System: This is the newest type of ICD device that helps protect the heart without touching the heart. Unlike other types of minimally invasive ICDs, the EMBLEM device delivers therapy without wires touching the heart and blood vessels.
The EMBLEM pulse generator is implanted on the left side of the chest next to the rib cage, rather than the left shoulder or collarbone like other systems, and the lead is implanted under the skin above the breastbone. This means you avoid the complications associated with leads.
EMBLEM is designed for people with a fast heart rate and is designed to prevent sudden cardiac arrest.
- Micra™ transcatheter pacing system: Micra is the world's smallest leadless pacemaker to regulate heart rhythm in people with a slow heart rate (bradycardia). Unlike traditional pacemakers, which are placed through the chest and contain wires that run to the heart, Micra is placed through a vein during a minimally invasive procedure and is completely leadless. This offers many benefits, including:
- Less invasive: Because Micra is a catheter procedure and can be placed through a vein in the leg, there are no chest scars. It's also placed in the heart so you avoid the look of a bump or bulge in your chest.
- Self-contained: The Micra system is completely contained, which eliminates the need for future complex lead extraction procedures should a complication occur.
- Small: Micra is about the size of a large vitamin capsule, or 93% smaller than traditional pacemakers.
Why choose us
- Our health system is home to the region's first and largest center of excellence in atrial fibrillation.
- Our heart rhythm specialists, also called electrophysiologists, are internationally recognized as leaders in their field. They perform leading-edge research and provide the latest treatments to patients with heart rhythm disorders.
- Our electrophysiologists work closely with our heart surgeons and heart failure specialists to treat patients who may require heart surgery or whose heart rhythm disorder is related to heart failure.
- All of our electrophysiologists have additional training in electrophysiology and are board-certified fellows of the American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the Heart Rhythm Society.
What to expect
Your doctor will give you specific instructions for the night before your procedure. This may include:
- Avoiding food and drink. It is important for you to have an empty stomach the day of your procedure. Do not eat or drink any fluids after midnight.
- Stopping certain medications. You may be advised to stop taking your regular medications, depending on if they will interfere with your treatment. Your doctor will discuss this with you.
- Preparing for the day of your treatment. When you check in at the hospital, wear comfortable clothes and shoes. Don't wear jewelry or bring valuables. Pack any personal care items you will want.
When you arrive at the hospital, you will consult with your doctor before your procedure. You will receive either local anesthetic or general anesthetic depending on your treatment plan. Some devices can be installed through a vein near the groin using a thin catheter.
The device will be implanted into your heart and your incisions will be closed. You will receive an electrophysiology study before you are released to make sure the device is functioning properly.
Most heart pacing devices provide remote monitoring to send reports back to your care team about your heart function and health. These reports are then analyzed to ensure you avoid future heart rhythm issues. You will be asked to come back for follow-up visits as needed.
Once you have a heart pacing device, you will want to keep tabs on any alerts about your implant from the device manufacturer. You can visit the website of your device manufacturer and sign up for any device alert service it may offer. Another source of information about alerts for your device is the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Medical Device Safety Communication: Sign up for email alerts.