THOP Sierra Campus first in El Paso area to offer ‘world smallest pacemaker’

This week, officials with Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus announced that it is the first hospital in El Paso to offer Micra AV, the world’s smallest pacemaker with atrioventricular (AV) synchrony. 

Officials share that this new device, meant for the treatment of patients with AV block, extends the most advanced pacing technology – at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker – to more patients than ever before.

“Because of how small Micra AV is, the size of a large vitamin, it allows us to minimally invasively implant the pacemaker inside the heart and without requiring leads or a surgical pocket under the skin, which significantly reduces the potential for complications,” said Dr. Steven Hamilton, electrophysiologist, who performed the first procedure last week.

“This advancement offers our patients a new option to treat AV block.  It can remarkably improve quality of life and also help some patients live longer.”

AV block is a type of heart block in which the electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and the ventricles) are impaired. Pacemakers, the most common way to treat AV block, help restore the heart’s normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by coordinating the electrical activity of the atria and the ventricles.

Historically, patients with AV block have been treated with traditional dual-chamber pacemakers which are implanted in the upper chest, under the skin below the collar bone, and connected to the heart using thin wires called “leads.”

Micra AV has several additional internal atrial sensing algorithms which detect cardiac movement, allowing the device to adjust pacing in the ventricle to coordinate with the atrium, providing “AV synchronous” pacing therapy to patients with AV block.

“We are excited to be again advancing cardiac care and services here in the El Paso community and offering our patients the latest in technology,” said Rob J. Anderson, chief executive officer for The Hospitals of Providence Sierra Campus.  “We’re committed to ensuring our patients are able to seek the cardiac care they need close to home.”

Micra AV was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2020.