Since October 2018, Cardiologist Dr Calvin Hsieh and the team at the Hurstville Private Hospital have been delivering a breakthrough pacemaker treatment to local residents living with slow or irregular heartbeat. Now with Dr Hsieh’s extensive professional experience and applied skills, under his lead, Hurstville Private Hospital has become the second Training Site in New South Wales for the world’s smallest pacemaker.
The pacemaker is the size of a large vitamin and weighs less than a coin. The Medtronic Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) delivers the most advanced pacing technology available to patients. Micra is delivered using a catheter, and attached directly to the heart wall – without the need for thin wires or ‘leads’.
This Friday, Hurstville Private Hospital is hosting its first training day on Micra for pacing specialist cardiologists from both Australia and New Zealand. A full-day training led by Dr Hsieh includes lectures, simulation and observation on live cases.
Dr Calvin Hsieh is a leading cardiologist with strong sub-specialist interest in clinical cardiac electrophysiology and device implantations. He has successfully implanted the pacemaker for 14 patients since last October. Dr Hsieh has participated in an international Micra educational symposium, offered his skillset and proctored at Flinders Hospital in South Australia. Most recently he was also one of the keynote speakers at the 12th Asia Pacific Hearth Rhythm Society Scientific Session in Bangkok, Thailand.
Pacemaker therapy is the most common way to treat bradycardia, or slow heartbeat. Unlike other pacemaker systems Micra does not require the use of wires, known as “leads”, as it is attached to the inside wall of the heart via small tines. An electrode at the tip of the device delivers electrical impulses that restore normal cardiac rhythm.
Even though Micra is one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, it delivers all the benefits of current devices. It continuously monitors and delivers electrical pulses to the heart, in line with the needs of the individual patient.
About the technology: The Medtronic Micra® Transcatheter Pacing System is a miniaturised, fully self-contained pacemaker that delivers the most advanced pacing technology available to patients via a minimally invasive approach. It is one-tenth the size of current pacemaker models, comparable in size to a large vitamin and weighing less than a coin. It is cosmetically invisible to the patient after implantation. Once positioned, the Micra can be repositioned or retrieved, if needed.
About the condition: Bradycardia is a condition characterised by a slow or irregular heart rhythm, usually fewer than 60 beats per minute – a normal heart rate is 60 – 100 bpm). 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. Left untreated, bradycardia can cause the heart to stop.