CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System is the only medical organization in the region to save lives using the latest in groundbreaking cardiac technology: the Micra transcatheter pacemaker – the smallest pacemaker in the world.

According to a press release, “When the heart beats too slowly, a condition known as bradycardia, patients may experience various symptoms,” said Kevin Hayes, M.D, CHRISTUS St. Michael EP Lab Medical Director and the area’s only cardiac electrophysiologist. “These symptoms including dizziness, fainting, chronic lack of energy and shortness of breath. Properly evaluating them can help your doctor access the severity of your heart condition and determine the appropriate treatment for you.”

On the morning of August 26, 2018, ReJeana Squyres experienced these symptoms on the way from church with her husband Bryce – quietly fainting in the front passenger seat of their car. ReJeana was transported to CHRISTUS St. Michael Hospital - Atlanta, where her heart stopped beating three times before the physician and staff could stabilize her enough for her to be transported to CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System (CSMHS) in Texarkana by Air Life.
In situations like ReJeana’s, Texarkana area residents now have the opportunity to be treated using the Micra™ miniaturized transcatheter pacing system under the direction of the region’s only cardiac electrophysiologist without the need to travel to a larger city.

The Micra is a device engineered for a minimally invasive approach and completely self-contained within the heart with no leads (wires to the device) required. The Micra is 93% smaller than modern-day pacemakers. The small size (about the size of a vitamin pill) and high effectiveness result in no chest scar or bump for the patient after surgery, no bump or visible or physical reminder of the pacemaker being in place, as well as fewer post-implant restrictions.

“Dr. Hayes showed us the Micra™ pacemaker and a standard pacemaker and explained the benefits,” said ReJeana. “We decided to go with the Micra™, and I was awake when Dr. Hayes implanted the pacemaker. The procedure was fast, less invasive, and I really didn’t experience any discomfort.”

ReJeana felt better almost immediately and can’t even tell the pacemaker is there.

“I didn’t know what to expect – I was dreading the procedure,” she said. “But it was just a matter of a small incision at the groin, and I am excited to know that such a small device can help make sure my heart beats as it should.”

“The physicians and staff here at CHRISTUS St. Michael are superb,” added Bryce. “They are very impressive with their knowledge and expertise, and everyone is very caring. There’s no doubt in our minds that when you need heart care, St. Michael is the place to go.”

Squyres Family

The patients of the Texarkana region are truly blessed to have access to this technology available at CHRISTUS St. Michael,” said Dr. Hayes. “We can offer advanced technology like the Micra in a state-of-the-art facility like our EP lab, and provide the high-quality care patients deserve, without the need for them to travel to get the very best.”