HCN News & Notes

Mercy Cardiologist Implants Area’s First Leadless Pacemaker

SPRINGFIELD — Mercy Medical Center is the first hospital in the area to implant a leadless pacemaker. The historic procedure was performed earlier this month by Dr. Sudhir Reddy, a board-certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist with Pioneer Valley Cardiology Associates.

All pacemakers are implanted to help control the patient’s heartbeat. They may be implanted temporarily to treat a slow heartbeat after a heart attack, surgery, or overdose of medication, or they may be implanted permanently to correct a slow heartbeat (bradycardia) or to help treat heart failure. In both cases, traditional pacemakers may be placed in the patient’s chest with leads running through the venous system to the heart. These devices deliver electrical pulses to adjust the heart rate.

With the new procedure, the surgeon uses a vein in the patient’s leg to implant the leadless pacemaker directly into the patient’s heart. Implanting the leadless pacemaker in this way is less invasive than the traditional procedure, as there is no resulting chest incision or scar. The leadless pacemaker is very small (about the size of a large pill) and remains completely self-contained within the patient’s heart, just distal to the tricuspid value. Most patients using the leadless pacemaker also have fewer medical complications and fewer implant activity restrictions.

Reddy joined Pioneer Valley Cardiology Associates in 2014. He completed his fellowships in cardiology and electrophysiology at Yale New Haven Hospital upon completing his residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.