UPDATE: 10/04/22

We want to clarify what Dr. Ganguly said, that “The device isn’t for everyone because it can only PACE the bottom chamber of the heart.”

We replace the word “shock” with the correct word “pace.”

ORIGINAL: 09/27/22

BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Frances “Adele” Tkach, had already been living with a traditional pacemaker.

However, one day she started to have severe back pain.

“My son-in-law Joel took me to the emergency room and it turned out to be a blood infection,” said Adele.

A traditional pacemaker has leads, which are wires. Doctors worried that if they put a traditional pacemaker back into Adele the infection would go to her heart.

That’s when Adele’s daughter and son-in-law, who both work at CHI St. Alexius began brainstorming.

And from there, they discovered a new device: a leadless pacemaker.

Doctor Joya Ganguly a cardiac electrophysiologist is the doctor who implanted the leadless pacemaker into Adele.

Dr. Ganguly said a traditional pacemaker has been wonderful, but just like any manmade device, it does have a weakness.

“Their weakness has always been the leads. Putting the leads in is a risk because you can damage the lung,” said Dr. Ganguly. “They have a high risk of breaking. And they have a high risk in infection.”

Leadless pacemakers do not require insulated wires. It is also implanted directly into the heart’s right lower chamber.

According to Adele, it’s also more comfortable to move around with the new pacemaker.

“The first one I had was put in 2013. Gradually it had slipped down and I couldn’t wear a seatbelt. because it would rub across and you could see the wires,” said Adele.

However, with the leadless pacemaker, she says she can’t even feel it.

One other positive note: there’s no incision in the chest.

“We go in through the leg,” said Dr. Ganguly. “Restrictions such as arm movements are not required. Just because there are no leads to pull out.”

Dr. Ganguly says this type of pacemaker can be easily removed as well.

“That was my biggest concern with Ms. Tkach,” said Dr. Ganguly. “She already had an infection there is no guarantee it won’t get to the device. and I wanted something that I could take out if we absolutely had to.”

Adele says she still has some pain due to the infection but says she’ll be ready to work in her garden as soon as the infection clears.

The device isn’t for everyone because it can only shock the bottom chamber of the heart.

If the top part of your heart and the bottom part of your heart can’t communicate it can cause patients to become dizzy along with other side effects.

It is also important to note that this pacemaker is available in other hospitals in our region.

If you are interested in this procedure you should speak with your local physician.