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Saint Francis Hospital is pleased to announce it is the first in Connecticut to offer Abbott’s new Aveir VR leadless pacemaker – the world’s only leadless pacemaker designed to be retrieved. The device received U.S. FDA approval earlier this year. The first procedure was performed just last week by Neal Lippman, M.D., Co-Section Chief of Arrhythmia Services for the Cardiovascular Service Line, a board-certified cardiologist and electrophysiologist with Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group.

The Aveir VR leadless pacemaker provides a new and exciting option to assist physicians in the treatment of patients with certain abnormal heart rhythms. Like other leadless pacemakers, Aveir VR does not require insulated wires, known as “leads,” that deliver the electrical energy from the pacemaker to the heart. Instead, the device is implanted directly into the heart’s right lower chamber using a minimally invasive procedure.

“At Saint Francis we perform several hundred pacemaker procedures each year, so this is very common,” said Dr. Lippman. “The Aveir VR leadless pacemaker improves patient’s quality of life. This device has many advantages over traditional pacemakers, including size, placement, and battery life. We are so proud to provide our cardiac patients with this state-of-the-art option.”

All pacemakers are implanted to help control the patient’s heartbeat. They are typically implanted to correct a slow heartbeat (bradycardia). Traditional pacemakers are placed under the skin on the patient’s chest with leads running through the venous system to the heart. These devices deliver electrical pulses to adjust the heart rate.

The Aveir VR leadless pacemaker can be implanted through a vein in the leg, without making an incision in the chest and without placing the pacemaker under the skin on the chest wall where it may be visible or cause discomfort. What also sets this innovative option apart is the Aveir VR’s impressive battery life that is up to two times longer than existing leadless options, as well as its unique mapping capability that allows clinicians to measure electric signals to assess the correct placement of the device before final fixation within the heart. A dual chamber version is awaiting regulatory approval. Saint Francis is excited to offer Abbott’s new technology, as it helps us continue to offer the best
standard of care to patients.

About Saint Francis Hospital

Saint Francis Hospital has been an anchor institution in Connecticut since 1897. Saint Francis is a
member of Trinity Health Of New England and Trinity Health, one of the largest multi-institutional
Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation. Saint Francis Hospital, a Level 1 Trauma Center, is a
617-bed hospital, a major teaching hospital, and the largest Catholic hospital in New England. Other
Saint Francis entities include the Comprehensive Women’s Health Center, the Connecticut Joint
Replacement Institute, the Hoffman Heart and Vascular Institute of Connecticut, the Smilow Cancer
Hospital Yale-New Haven at Saint Francis, Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group, and
Community Health and Well Being, which includes the Curtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity, the
Joan C. Dauber Food Pantry, and the Greater Hartford Family Advocacy Center. Follow us on Facebook,
Instagram and Twitter @SaintFrancisCT