“It takes a lot off my mind.” Patient first in Illinois to receive new leadless pacemaker

January 31, 2024 | by Endeavor Health
Categories: Healthy Driven Hearts

Larry Anderson, 74, of Naperville, used to rely on a smartwatch to track his low heart rate.

Admittedly, the smartwatch wasn’t entirely accurate. It would check his heart rate several times each day, as well as checking for atrial fibrillation (AFib), or an abnormal heartbeat, but he didn’t trust it to tell him the whole story.

It wasn’t an urgent situation, but it was one his doctor, Hany Demo, MD, a cardiac electrophysiologist with Endeavor Health, wanted to address.

“He said I may want to consider having a pacemaker. He assured me it wasn’t critical but something I needed to do at some point,” Anderson said.

This winter, Anderson got a new, state-of-the-art pacemaker — and he was the first person in Illinois to use the new technology.

Anderson received the new AVEIR™ DR, the world’s first dual chamber leadless pacemaker system from Abbott that effectively treats people with abnormal or slow heart rhythms. It was implanted by Dr. Demo at Endeavor Health Swedish Hospital in Chicago.

Unlike traditional pacemakers, leadless devices are implanted directly into the heart through a minimally invasive procedure and eliminate the need for cardiac leads. As a result, leadless pacemakers reduce people’s exposure to potential lead and pocket-related complications and offer a less restrictive and shorter recovery period post-implantation.

The groundbreaking system approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in June 2023, provides Swedish Hospital with a new minimally invasive option to treat the nearly 80% of people who require pacing in two chambers of the heart (both the right atrium and right ventricle).

The AVEIR DR dual chamber leadless pacing system is made up of two devices — the AVEIR VR ventricular leadless pacemaker, which paces the right ventricle (VR), and the AVEIR AR atrial leadless pacemaker, which paces the right atrium (AR). AVEIR incorporates Abbott’s novel i2i technology, which provides beat-to-beat communication between the two leadless pacemakers.

Hany Demo MD and Larry

“This is an excellent technology that will benefit our patients and we are excited to be the first hospital in Illinois to provide this to our patients,” Dr. Demo said. “This new technology helps us continue to offer the highest standard of care to our patients.”

For Anderson, the best part is knowing he doesn’t have to worry about his heart rate.

“It's very reassuring to know it’s not an issue,” he said. “I haven’t had a recurrence of AFib or anything like that. It takes a lot off my mind to not have to think about it.”

From a patient’s perspective, the procedure was minimally invasive and easy, Anderson said.

“I experienced no pain. There was a little bit of tenderness for the next day or two, but nothing that impeded what I wanted to do,” Anderson said.

AVEIR leadless pacemakers are also engineered to be retrieved should a person’s therapy needs change, or they need a replacement device in the future.

“Abbott’s groundbreaking dual chamber leadless pacemaker will revolutionize care for our current patients and creates a significant opportunity to expand the number of people we can serve,” said Dr. Demo. “In fact, it is estimated that millions of people across the U.S. require pacing in both chambers of the heart. We look forward to using AVEIR DR to help improve the lives of our patients and better serve our community.”

Your heart is in good hands when you choose Endeavor Health Cardiovascular Institute. Learn more.

NorthShore University HealthSystem, Swedish Hospital, Northwest Community Healthcare and Edward-Elmhurst Health are now united under one name, Endeavor Health. We’re setting a new standard for healthcare that’s focused on you, because your best health is our endeavor. Learn more.

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