LONDON, Ky. (Feb. 1, 2022) – Saint Joseph London recently began offering a leadless pacemaker for patients who need help controlling their heartbeat. John Abe, MD, FACC, FHRS, with CHI Saint Joseph Medical Group – Cardiology, in December performed the first leadless pacemaker implant at Saint Joseph London, bringing new options for cardiac patients in the region.
The leadless pacemaker is a small self-contained device implanted directly into the heart muscle. Traditional pacemakers require an external generator placed under the skin in the upper chest connected to leads, which are flexible insulated wires placed in the chamber of the heart. The device, about one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker, eliminates the need for wires, which can break or malfunction and create potential for infection.
“Some patients don’t qualify for the older pacemakers,” Dr. Abe said. “For instance, the new leadless pacemaker can help patients who have had infections with a previous pacemaker or those whose veins are occluded. These patients may have been eligible for a pacemaker, but we had no way to implant it, other than through open heart surgery. This new leadless device opens up a whole new option for treatment for these patients.”
The procedure to implant a leadless pacemaker takes about 45 minutes, about half the time to install a traditional pacemaker. The device is installed using a catheter inserted into the femoral vein through the groin, a procedure similar to a heart cath. Patients are typically able to go home after about six hours.
“We are very pleased to be able to have the expertise of Dr. Abe and serve our community with this new technology and care for our patients,” said John Yanes, president, Saint Joseph London. “We strive to stay on the leading-edge of treatments for all of our patients.”
For information about heart and vascular care at Saint Joseph London, visit chisaintjosephhealth.org/saint-joseph-london/services/heart-vascular-care.
About CHI Saint Joseph Health
CHI Saint Joseph Health, part of CommonSpirit Health, is one of the largest and most comprehensive health systems in the Commonwealth of Kentucky with 100 locations in 20 counties, including hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes, home health agencies and an ambulatory Care Center. The hospitals in CHI Saint Joseph Health are Flaget Memorial Hospital, Saint Joseph Berea, Saint Joseph East, Saint Joseph Hospital, Saint Joseph Jessamine, Saint Joseph London, Saint Joseph Mount Sterling, and Women’s Hospital at Saint Joseph East. In total, the health system serves patients in 35 counties statewide. CHI Saint Joseph Health is dedicated to providing a wide array of services toward a goal of building a healthier future for all. CHI Saint Joseph Health embodies a strong mission and faith-based heritage and works through local partnerships to expand access to care in the communities it serves.
About Saint Joseph London
Saint Joseph London is a 150-bed full-service hospital located in London, Kentucky. Established in 1926, the facility serves patients from southeastern Kentucky, including those from Clay, Laurel, Jackson, Whitley, Knox and Pulaski counties. The current $152 million regional hospital opened in 2010, and offers all private patient rooms, with most overlooking a small lake and garden on the 52-acre healing environment.