Dr. Eric Burton, a cardiologist with Lee Health, says placing pacemakers is a common procedure. “There’s a lot higher likelihood of the need for a pacemaker as people get older.”
A traditional pacemaker is placed underneath the skin just below the shoulder with a wire leading to the heart. But a new device is changing how the procedure is done, putting the pacemaker directly into the heart. “One of the nice features about this new device is there’s not necessarily a tell-tale cosmetic reminder that you have a heart problem,” said Dr. Burton.
The new device is 93 percent smaller than the traditional pacemaker but offers the same 10-year lifespan for the patient. It’s implanted through an artery in the leg instead of an incision in the chest. “It’s a new type of pacemaker that avoids some of the potential surgical complications that we see with traditional devices,” said Dr. Burton.
Lucy Lopez was the first patient in Lee County to receive the new pacemaker. “Usually I was tired. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t have any strength. There were times where I felt dizzy. He talked to me about a pacemaker that would help my heart to work better.”
Six months after surgery, Lucy is feeling better and back to her routine. “I’ve gained some pounds. I’ve gained some strength. I wasn’t eating that much, but now I’ve started eating so I’m getting back to normal.”
With no scar or bulge in her chest from the pacemaker, Lucy isn’t faced with a daily reminder of her surgery. “It’s been good. It’s been good. Thank God,” said Lopez.
A safe and more efficient way for patients to live with a pacemaker.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health - Caring People. Inspiring Care.