Cardiologists implant Utah’s first leadless cardiac pacemaker

Cardiologists at the Intermountain Heart Institute recently made Utah medical history as they implanted the Intermountain West’s first leadless (i.e., wireless) cardiac pacemaker to treat a Logan woman who suffers from atrial fibrillation.

The Nanostim leadless pacemaker is less than 10 percent of the size of a conventional pacemaker and is the least invasive pacing technology available today. During the procedure, the small device is inserted with a steerable catheter through the femoral vein directly into the lower chamber of the heart. It’s then anchored into the heart, detached from the insertion device, and left to monitor and pace the heart to a normal rhythm if the heart slows to an unsafe pace.

Susan Thomas received the Intermountain West’s first leadless cardiac pacemaker at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute. Cardiologist Jared Bunch, MD, participated on the implantation team.  

Patients benefit from the elimination of the visible lump and scar at a conventional pacemaker’s insertion site, which is typically in the left upper chest. In addition, certain restrictions on patient activity with traditional pacemakers after surgery—routinely recommended in order to prevent dislodgment or damage to a pacemaker’s leads until the complete system site fully heals—may be lifted with a leadless pacemaker implant. This potentially improves the early quality of life for patients after the procedure and minimizes delays in their healing process.

​The implant is part of the LEADLESS II pivotal trial, which is a prospective, non-randomized, multi-center, international clinical study designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the Nanostim leadless pacemaker. The study is expected to enroll approximately 670 patients at 50 centers across the United States.

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