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St. Mary's Using World's Smallest Pacemaker


St. Mary’s is the first facility in Northeast Georgia implementing the use of an advanced pacemaker.

Athens-area patients in need of a pacemaker can now benefit from a less invasive procedure. St. Mary’s Healthcare System has announced it’s the first facility in the regional to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker. Mark Ralston is Public Relations manager with the hospital.

“This is especially for patients who have had Bradycardia with atrial fibrillation,” Ralston said. “Bradycardia is a common condition that’s characterized by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually less than 60 beats a minute. At that rate the heart just can’t get enough blood throughout the body that can cause dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath, or even fainting.”

Ralston says that’s when a device like the Micra pacemaker can make a difference.

“When a patient has that coupled with atrial fibrillation then a pacemaker can help them get back to normal.”

Dr. Amit Shah, right, performs the region's first Micra implementation procedure at St. Mary's on June 13, 2018.

The device is about the size of a large vitamin pill which is about one-tenth the size of a regular device. Using it eliminates the need for leads or pouches under the skin needed with regular pacemakers which can be

The hospital first used the procedure last week. St. Mary’s is an underwriter with WUGA.

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