Palmetto Health Heart Hospital now offers world’s smallest pacemaker

Posted on 3/16/2017

Miniaturized heart device provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology available.

Palmetto Health Heart Hospital now offers the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia. Recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) is a new type of heart device that provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology at one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. Micra® TPS is the only leadless pacemaker approved for use in the U.S.

Bradycardia is a condition characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute. At this rate, the heart is unable to pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body during normal activity or exercise, causing dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia to help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate.

The first procedure with Micra® TPS at Palmetto Health Heart Hospital was performed by Robert Mazzei, Jr., M.D., cardiologist and electrophysiologist with Columbia Heart. Mazzei believes this device adds another option for patients and is excited about its possibilities. He said, “This device is the new frontier of pacemakers that will eliminate many of the complications related to traditional pacemakers including infection, lead complications and pneumothorax. I’m excited that we can bring this technology to the patients of the Midlands. I believe that is a first step to the next generation of pacemakers.”

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, physicians at Palmetto Health Heart Hospital have added this new device to their toolkit along with other pacemakers and defibrillators that are available.

Micra® TPS differences include:

  • Does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy
  • Can be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines
  • Is cosmetically invisible
  • Automatically adjusts pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels
  • Patients with the device can have regular and 3 Tesla (T) full-body MRI scans

The device also incorporates a feature to enable retrieval of the device when possible; however, the device is designed to be left in the body. For patients who need more than one heart device, the miniaturized Micra® TPS was designed with a unique feature that enables it to be permanently turned off so it can remain in the body and a new device can be implanted without risk of electrical interaction.

For more information about Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, visit

About Palmetto Health
Palmetto Health, the largest health care system in the South Carolina Midlands region and one of the state’s largest employers, comprises more than 15,000 team members, physicians and volunteers working together to fulfill Palmetto Health’s Vision: To be remembered by each patient as providing the care and compassion we want for our families and ourselves. The system includes six acute-care hospitals in the Midlands—Palmetto Health Baptist, Palmetto Health Baptist Parkridge, Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital, Palmetto Health Heart Hospital, Palmetto Health Richland and Palmetto Health Tuomey. In the South Carolina Upstate region, Palmetto Health also co-owns Baptist Easley Hospital. Recognized nationally as one of the best places to work and receive care, the system also includes the Palmetto Health-USC Medical Group, the region’s largest multispecialty group, which serves as the entry point to the health care system with more than 500 providers serving patients in more than 80 practices and nearly 100 locations. Palmetto Health also is supported by two 501 (c)(3) foundations, and trains the next generation of physicians through its 24 residency and fellowship programs affiliated with the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. For more information, visit or call 803-296-CARE (2273).


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