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A tiny pacemaker was implanted in a patient from the West Midlands at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.  The Medtronic Micra was implanted by consultant cardiologists Howard Marshall and Francisco Leyva in a ground-breaking operation lasting less than one hour.  The revolutionary device is the first in a new generation of pacemakers that will change the future of cardiac pacing.

Pacemakers are implanted for individuals that have dangerously slow heart rates.  Although current pacemakers are smaller than the early generation devices of 40 years ago, they are nonetheless relatively bulky and require pacing wires to be inserted from the pacing box through the veins and into the heart.  These will leave a scar and bump on the upper chest.  The new Micra pacemakers are much smaller and are implanted directly into the heart without the necessity for pacemaker wires.  The operation is much less invasive and the smaller sized capsule device without the wires will drastically reduce the complication rates, especially the chance of infection.

This is a new era for pacemakers and while these small devices may only be suitable for certain patients at present,  further developments will undoubtedly make this technology available for a larger population in the future.

Follow the full story about our patient from the recent press release.

Walking for Hearts

Just a letter of thanks to all have supported me on the Coast to Coast walk.  From a personal point of view it was very rewarding – the walk itself was great and the backing of so many friends, family and colleagues was a great motivator.  More importantly, with your very generous support, we have raised over £5000 for the BHF for which I know they (and generations of patients who will be helped by their work) are very grateful.

If you meant to sponsor me but never got round to it or would like to read the blog, its not too late!!  Just visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/HJMarshall which will still be open for the next couple of weeks.

Once again many thanks for all your support.

Walking for Hearts

Howard Marshall, who is one of our heart rhythm consultants, is planning to raise money and awareness for the British Heart Foundation.  He is goingto walk the Wainwright Coast to Coast route over thirteen days in mid June.  All proceeds raised will go toward the BHF Mending Broken Hearts Appeal.

We have recently upgraded our 3D mapping equipment to the new CARTO 3 system. This new imaging technology allows us to “see” into the beating heart during some of our ablation procedures. 3D mapping reduces the amount of X-rays that are needed for our procedures and makes the procedure safer for our patients. We have been using these mapping systems for a considerable time and the newer version provides significant advantages over previous versions.

BUPA

We have been informed today that Bupa insured patients can receive treatment at the BMI Priory Hospital after successful negotiations between the two parties. We are delighted that our patients can continue with the high standard of care provided at the BMI Priory Hospital in Birmingham.