Lee Ryan, 74, a Worth, Illinois man was among the first in Chicago to receive a MRI-compatible pacemaker. His pacemaker was implanted at MetroSouth Medical Center, a hospital known for its excellent cardiac care.
Ryan, who suffers from coronary artery disease, was having bradycardia, a heart arrhythmia condition that causes a slow heart rate. His heart rate was 35 beats a minute, which compares to 60 to 100 beats per minute for a person without a heart condition.
Sean Tierney, M.D., cardiologist and electrophysiologist at MetroSouth Medical Center, was the physician who implanted the pacemaker in Ryan after encouraging him to try it.
"Mr. Ryan has a history of health problems that will require him to have future MRIs," says Dr. Tierney. "This new pacemaker is perfect for patients over 65, who are twice as likely to need an MRI as compared to a younger population."
Until now, patients with pacemakers weren't allowed to have MRIs because the magnetic field produces heat, causing the pacemakers to malfunction or induce arrhythmia. The new Medtronic Revo MRI system is made out of nonmagnetic metal and has extra insulation on the leads – the wires that attach to the heart— which better absorbs the heat.
There are approximately 1.5 million Americans with pacemakers. About 200,000 of them have to forego MRIs and often undergo more invasive and risky diagnostic procedures because they have pacemakers.
"Before I got the pacemaker, I was dizzy and fatigued. The usual chores, like splitting wood, were exhausting to me," Ryan admits. "But after getting this new pacemaker, I no longer have shortness of breath and my energy level has improved greatly."
MSMC, which provides advanced cardiac interventional procedures and offers a state-of-the-art heart catheterization lab, is recognized for outstanding cardiac care. Thirty years ago, the hospital was among the first in the Chicago, and the nation, to offer angioplasty, a procedure used to unblock narrowed arteries. Since that time, more than 15,000 angioplasties and more than 12,000 open heart surgeries have been performed at MSMC.
SOURCE MetroSouth Medical Center