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World’s Smallest, Wireless Remote Pacemaker Implanted by South Nassau’s Dr. Kanner
The world’s smallest wireless remote pacemaker, the Evia®, was implanted in a patient at a Long Island-based hospital for the first time. The implant procedure was completed by Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services at South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health in Oceanside, NY.
“The patients who receive this implant can benefit from the pacemaker’s size, durability and novel rate regulation algorithm. It also has real-time, cellular-based home monitoring,” said Dr. Kanner.
The Evia® pacemaker, manufactured by Biotronik, is 20 percent smaller than all others and incorporates wireless monitoring that works similar to a cell phone. The monitoring system immediately notifies the patient’s physician if the patient or the pacemaker is experiencing complications and can be used to perform a complete wireless, remote check-up. In 2009, the FDA approved Biotronik’s Home Monitoring® system as the only remote monitoring system that can replace conventional pacemaker device inspection during follow-up appointments.
The Evia features Closed Loop Stimulation (CLS) as well as an internal transmitter and web-based application, which allows it to link to any computer to transmit patient data to the physician. CLS is a physiologic rate regulation algorithm that integrates into the natural cardiovascular control loop, measuring changes in myocardial contraction dynamics and translating them into appropriate heart rate regulation (emulating a healthy sinus node, the human heart’s natural pacemaker).
While the average lifespan for standard pacemakers is five to seven years, the Evia can last up to 10 years before needing replacement. As a result of its durability, patients who have been implanted will undergo fewer pacemaker replacement procedures, reducing the risk of procedural complications such as infection.
“Studies have shown that while pacemaker replacement is typically safe for most patients, the procedure does carry some risk,” said Dr. Kanner. “When you combine the advantages of the Evia, we expect it to contribute to our high standards for patient care and outcomes.”
In addition to the Evia pacemaker, Dr. Kanner and the Center’s staff of electrophysiologists use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat a range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator complications. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and radiofrequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.
South Nassau is one of just two hospitals on Long Island to earn a Gold Performance Achievement Award in Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The GuidelinesSM program in 2010. The hospital’s echocardiography lab is accredited by the Intersocietal Commission for Accreditation of Echocardiography (ICAEL).
The Center for Cardiovascular Health treats patients with the combination of advanced technologies and best practices and is equipped with the latest advancements in cardiac digital imaging systems. It performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy. When providing balloon angioplasty in an emergency, the center consistently achieves a door-to-balloon-time of approximately 70 minutes, which is 20 minutes faster than the medically recommended door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes.
The Center’s cardiac imaging specialists are well-versed in nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest), echocardiogram via the trans-thoracic method (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart), and transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically). Cardiac imaging services also include stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.