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MRI-Friendly Pacemaker

MRI-Friendly Pacemaker

St. Mary Medical Center was among the first in the nation to implant the newly FDA-approved pacing system considered safe for patients undergoing an MRI scan. Electophysiologist Dr. Michael Rozengarten successfully implanted the SureScanTM Pacing System into the chest of an 80-year-old patient on Thursday, February 16. 

Previously patients with pacemakers were cautioned to avoid getting Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).


The SureScanTM Pacing System is a breakthrough in technology that contains changes in internal circuitry and significantly reduced magnetic components to make MRI a safe imaging technique for patients with a pacing system. 

Important to consider is that the demographic group most likely to need a pacemaker, those over age 65 and commonly diagnosed with more than one health condition (co-morbidity), also is the same demographic group most likely to need a diagnostic MRI.

The MRI-conditional pacing system solves a tricky dilemma for patients with pacemakers who potentially benefit the most from this widely used medical-imaging exam. MRI-Conditional pacemakers are approved for MRI scans on certain body parts and in certain patients. Pacing systems are surgically implanted devices commonly used to regulate heart rhythms and to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. A small electronic pacemaker device is implanted in the chest during a minor surgical procedure and works to stimulate the heart muscle with precisely timed electrical impulses that keep the heart beating at a well-controlled rate. Frequently, pacemakers are necessary following a heart attack or cardiac surgery. Without treatment, a slow or irregular heart rate can lead to weakness, dizziness, fainting, shortness of breath and even death. Patients with pacemakers are cautioned to avoid strong electrical or magnetic fields that have the potential to cause discomfort or device malfunction.