May 24, 2024 2:06 am
UC San Diego Health is the First in the Region to Implant Dual Chamber, Leadless Pacemaker

UC San Diego Health has made history in San Diego by successfully implanting the world’s first dual chamber and leadless pacemaker system to assist in treating individuals with irregular heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias. These conditions can lead to complications such as palpitations, fainting, and stroke.

Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are typically used to regulate irregular heartbeats. However, a newly approved leadless pacemaker system has been cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2023 and is placed in both chambers of the heart. This innovative communication technology provides a less invasive option for patients.

Dr. Ulrika Birgersdotter-Green, a cardiologist and director of pacemaker and ICD services at UC San Diego Health, expressed excitement about the new technology, stating, “To have the option to use a leadless pacemaker system on both sides of the heart will allow us to treat more individuals currently living with heart arrhythmias.” Approximately 80% of patients who receive a pacemaker require a dual chamber option. While leadless pacemakers have been preferred by patients, they were previously only available for individuals needing pacing on one side of the heart.

Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia, is expected to affect around 12.1 million people in the United States by 2030, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pacemakers are an effective treatment option for many individuals with arrhythmias but can be uncomfortable for some patients due to their size and placement under the skin. The new dual chamber leadless pacemaker system offers a more comfortable solution while still providing effective treatment options for those who need it most.

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