Section: Latest News

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital First Site on the West Coast to Treat Patients with World’s Smallest Pacemaker, Post Clinical Trial


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

(Santa Rosa, Calif. - May 27, 2016) Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital is the first hospital on the West Coast to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia, post clinical trial. 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.

Yesterday, May 26, Peter Chang-Sing, MD, board-certified cardiac electrophysiologist, successfully implanted the new device in a patient.

“Pacemakers are the most common way to treat bradycardia which is a slow or irregular heart rhythm that inhibits the heart from pumping enough oxygen-rich blood to the body which causes dizziness, fatigue, shortness of breath or fainting spells. Pacemakers help restore the heart's normal rhythm and relieve symptoms by sending electrical impulses to the heart to increase the heart rate,” explained Dr. Chang-Sing. “The Micra TPS allows us to treat more patients by offering a less invasive surgery. The small size of the device also enables us to implant pacemakers into more medically fragile individuals who may suffer from further health complications.”

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, the Medtronic Micra TPS is unlike traditional pacemakers, because the device does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible.

The Micra TPS is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels and incorporates a retrieval 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.

Offering innovative technology, the Micra TPS is the first and only transcatheter pacing system to be approved for both 1.5 and 3 Tesla (T) full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans, providing patients with access to the most advanced imaging diagnostic procedures available, if and when they need one.

“We are thrilled to offer residents of the entire North Bay this advanced technology, it is truly a remarkable advancement in patient care,” said David Ziolkowski, Chief Operating Officer, St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County. “As the region’s only Level II Trauma Center, we ensure that our patients receive the best care possible by continually working with our expert physicians to bring the latest evidence-based treatments to this community.”

About Dr. Peter Chang-Sing

Dr. Chang-Sing is board certified in clinical cardiac electrophysiology, cardiology and internal medicine. He performed the first electrophysiology cases offered in Sonoma County at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, and has since performed thousands of procedures. His studies and articles have appeared in numerous medical and scientific journals including the American Journal of Cardiology, the American Journal of Physiology, Circulation, Molecular Pharmacology, Cardiology Clinics and Sonoma Medicine. He is an advisory board member for Medtronic and St. Jude Corporations, and a member of the American College of Cardiology, the California Medical Association and the Heart Rhythm Society.

About Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

Located approximately 50 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, Santa Rosa Memorial is a state-of-the-art, 338-bed acute care hospital. As the designated Level II Regional Trauma Center for Sonoma, Mendocino, Napa and Lake Counties, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital provides a wide range of specialty services including critical care, cardiovascular care, stroke care, women’s and children’s services, cancer care and orthopedics. The hospital is home to the Norma & Evert Person Heart & Vascular Institute and the UCSF Neonatal Intensive Care Nursery.

About St. Joseph Health, Sonoma County

St. Joseph Health in Sonoma County is a not-for-profit provider of integrated health care, sponsored by the St. Joseph Health Ministry. Its mission is to extend the healing ministry of Jesus in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange by improving health and quality of life in the communities it serves. Entities include the 338-bed Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (the region’s Level II Trauma Center), the 80-bed Petaluma Valley Hospital, Memorial Hospice, Hospice of Petaluma, North County Hospice, St. Joseph Urgent Care centers, and St. Joseph Home Care Network. The organization’s more than 2,000 local employees offer residents of California’s North Coast a spectrum of healthcare services. These include Family Birthing, Neonatal Intensive Care, Pediatrics supported by on-site pediatric hospitalists 24/7, urgent care, preventive care and health promotion, outpatient behavioral health care, palliative care, rehabilitation, and community benefit programs. Visit to learn more.

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