Marian Regional Medical Center’s Sue J. Sword Heart Center Introduces Advanced Cardiac Capabilities to Central Coast Cardiac Patients

Innovative Heart Devices Provide Patients with the Most Advanced Cardiac Technology Available

SANTA MARIA, CA – November 14, 2017 – The Sue J. Sword Heart Center at Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC), a Dignity Health hospital, today announced the most recent medical advancements to its award-winning cardiac program.

The Heart Center at Marian now offers the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia, a slow or irregular heart rhythm. The Micra Transcatheter Pacing System is a new type of heart device, approved for Medicare reimbursement. It provides patients with the most advanced pacing technology available, at only one-tenth the size of a traditional pacemaker. The first procedure at was recently performed at Marian’s Sue J. Sword Heart Center by Brett M. Gidney, M.D.

Comparable in size to a large vitamin, cardiologists at MRMC have elected to use Medtronic’s Micra device because unlike traditional pacemakers, it does not require cardiac wires (leads) or a surgical “pocket” under the skin to deliver a pacing therapy. Instead, the device is small enough to be delivered through a catheter and implanted directly into the heart with small tines, providing a safe alternative to conventional pacemakers without the complications associated with leads – all while being cosmetically invisible. The Micra is also designed to automatically adjust pacing therapy based on a patient’s activity levels.

Additionally, the Structural Heart Program at MRMC has been further enhanced. Joel Lardizabal, MD, recently implanted the first and only FDA-approved device designed to help reduce the risk of recurrent ischemic strokes in patients diagnosed with a patent foramen ovale (PFO) – a small opening between the upper chambers of the heart.

The Amplatzer PFO Occluder device was designed to close the PFO and lower the risk of stroke caused by dangerous clots passing between the heart chambers and up to the brain. Placement of the device is minimally invasive and performed while the patient is sedated but still conscious.

“Marian’s Sue J. Sword Heart Center is pleased to be able to offer these advanced medical technologies to Central Coast cardiac patients,” says Marian Regional Medical Center President & CEO, Kerin Mase. “These advancements further enhance the cardiovascular technologies in our own community, mitigating the need to travel for cardiac care.”

Also within the Structural Heart Program, Marian’s Heart Center is anticipating yet another innovative implant, to be implemented in early 2018. The Watchman device is the only FDA-approved implant proven to reduce stroke risk in people with atrial fibrillation not caused by a heart valve problem. The Watchman implant will provide an advanced alternative for individuals that cannot tolerate their blood thinner medications for long-term.

Marian’s award-winning heart program continues to be rated among the top 10% nationally for heart care. The cardiac center is staffed by a team of heart care specialists dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of heart disease. The ongoing advancements to Marian’s technology will allow patients to receive the most unconventional cardiac treatments and devices available.