ABU DHABI, 7th February, 2023 (WAM) — Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) in Abu Dhabi has successfully performed a leadless cardiac pacemaker procedure to treat an Emirati patient.
This case utilised a state-of-the-art technology that was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2022, said a press release issued on Tuesday by SSMC, one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic.
The newly-launched technique was carefully chosen for the patient, whose primary issue was a life-threateningly slow heart rate. Dr. Mario Njeim, consultant cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist at SSMC, explained why the leadless pacemaker was selected for this case. “I opted for the leadless cardiac pacemaker since our patient suffers from multiple medical problems that could present an increased risk of complications if a conventional cardiac pacemaker were to be used.”
The pacing system corrects the patient’s slow heart rhythm, or bradycardia, by generating electrical pulses that prompt the heart to beat at a normal rate, he noted.
“This particular new type of leadless pacemakers is unique as it can map and analyse the best possible location to implant the pacemaker in the heart prior to having the device fixated in its final position. It offers an improved battery life that can last up to 20 years.
“It also has a unique feature that allows pairing with another leadless device that could be implanted if needed to allow communications between different chambers in the patient’s heart. It can also be retrieved should the therapy require an update or replacement,” the doctor explained.
The device that is FDA-approved was implanted through a minimally invasive procedure that did not require a surgical incision and was instead introduced through a tube inserted into a blood vessel in the groin and attached to the heart. “Leadless pacemakers do not require insulated wires, or cardiac leads, to deliver energy to the heart, which eliminates the risk of infections seen with conventional pacemakers,” said Dr. Njeim.
SSMC boasts a cutting-edge electrophysiology centre that is led by board-certified electrophysiologists with long-standing global expertise in treating both simple and complex heart rhythm disorders with implantable cardiac device technologies. The centre also employs specialised nurses and is supported with integrated access to other disciplines and practices across SSMC in addition to the latest research and technological equipment.
Commenting on the patient’s state, Dr. Njeim said, “I am happy to report that the patient responded to the procedure in an excellent manner and has returned home given his healthy heart rate and overall stable condition.”