The Cardiology Service of Hospital Dr. Nélio Mendonça, in Funchal, has just implanted for the first time the smallest pacemaker in the world with atrioventricular (AV) synchrony. Until now, only Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Ocidental (Hospital Santa Cruz), Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João (Porto) and Centro Hospitalar do Alto Ave (Hospital de Guimarães) had carried out this type of intervention.
The implanted patient suffers from chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis, which makes it impossible to implant a conventional pacemaker due to the risk of derailing the fistula caused by the catheter placed in one of the upper limbs for dialysis. The procedure was successfully performed by electrophysiologists cardiologists Nuno Santos and Pedro Carmo, this Thursday.
This device is indicated for the treatment of patients with high-grade atrioventricular block (AVB), a condition in which electrical signals between the chambers of the heart (the atria and ventricles) are blocked. Unlike the traditional pacemaker, this one does not need electrodes (small electrical wires placed inside the heart through the veins that re-establish the connection between the atria and ventricles). It is placed directly into the right ventricle through an access via the right femoral vein.
Nuno Santos, the cardiologist responsible for implanting the device, feels “great satisfaction for having implanted the world’s smallest pacemaker for the first time in Madeira and for the potential benefits it brings to the population we serve”. The specialist also states that “the use of this device avoids the usual scar, significantly reducing the risks associated with the traditional technique, the recovery time and, consequently, the associated costs. In addition, the duration of the procedure is also shorter. It’s a happy day for our hospital.”
Carrying out this procedure for the first time in Madeira will allow patients on the island who need this type of treatment to not need to go to a hospital in mainland Portugal to be treated, as has been the case until now.