An Emirati patient suffering from a life-threateningly slow heart rate has been successfully implanted with a leadless cardiac pacemaker at a hospital in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) used the newly launched technique approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last year.

“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,” said Dr Mario Njeim, consultant cardiologist and cardiac electrophysiologist, SSMC.

The pacing system corrects the patient’s slow heart rhythm, or bradycardia, by generating electrical pulses that prompt the heart to beat normally.

“This particular new type of leadless pacemaker 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,” Dr Njeim noted.

“It also has a unique feature that allows pairing with another leadless device that could be implanted if ever needed in the future to allow communications between different chambers in the patient's heart. It can also be retrieved should the therapy require an update or should it need replacement.”

The device 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 is 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 patient has resumed normal function and no longer suffers from a slow heart rate.

“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,” Dr Njeim underlined.

SSMC’s cutting-edge electrophysiology centre 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.

Dr Matthew Gettman, chief medical officer, SSMC, pointed out the electrophysiology centre has adapted the latest in health care discoveries to treat the most complex health conditions.

“Our priority will always be to place patients’ needs first and to offer personalised, integrated and compassionate care based on our unwavering commitment to SSMC’s shields of practice, research and education,” Gettman added.


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