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Published on October 04, 2010

Kish Hospital First in State to Implant World's Smallest, Wireless Remote Pacemaker

October 4, 2010 

Sycamore cardiologist Paul Nguyen was one of the first in the United States and first in Illinois to implant a new generation pacemaker this past spring that promises a higher level of comfort and safety for patients and a higher level of information transmitted remotely to physicians. 

Dr. Nguyen, who specializes in electrophysiology, implanted the device on May 28, 2010 at Kish Hospital. The new pacemaker, from Biotronic, was developed in Germany and approved for release in Europe first. The FDA released the device for distribution in the U.S. on May 13, and the first implantation was done shortly thereafter by Dr. Blair Grubb, a renownedelectrophysiologist at the University of Toledo Medical Center.  

Sycamore internist Manav Salwan referred the patient, a man in his early 60’s, to Dr. Nguyen after he complained of fatigue, palpitations, and a low heart rate. Dr. Nguyen placed him on an event monitor for 30 days.  

“Initially everything was fine, but at one point his heart rate dropped, which put him at risk for sudden cardiac death and made him a candidate for the new pacemaker,” Dr. Salwan said. 

The new pacemaker came at the right time for this patient.

“When you’re so young with a lot of life ahead of you, being able to avoid multiple surgeries to replace a pacemaker is a good thing.  Not only is it impressive, but a matter of great pride that we can now perform such procedures and offer such state of the art devices at Kish Hospital,” Dr. Salwan said. 

Another advantage of the new pacemaker is that it’s smaller than earlier generations. This means Dr. Nguyen can use his patented surgical technique that results in a cosmetically pristine incision. “This technique is especially important to women and patients who believe in quality of life and optimal health status outcomes,” he said. Dr. Nguyen added, “In addition to home monitoring capabilities, this device has ‘closed loop stimulation,’ an advanced physiologic heart rate regulation protocol that makes it possible for the device to detect and regulate changes within the heart’s electrical circuit.”

Since May, Dr. Nguyen has implanted several more of these tiny pacemakers at Kish Hospital. “The diagnostic information I’m getting from these small pacemakers and the convenience of remote monitoring for the patient are proving the immediate benefits of this new device,” he said.

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