In a groundbreaking medical achievement positioning South Africa at the forefront of cardiac innovation, Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg has completed the first implantation of the Biotronik Amvia Sky pacemaker, a revolutionary heart device never before seen in Africa.
According to IOL, renowned cardiologists Drs Kaveshree Govender and Menachem (Nachie) Levin led this pioneering surgery, ushering in a new era for treating heart conditions on the continent.
The Biotronik Amvia Sky pacemaker, introduced recently in Europe at the University Hospital Ghent in Belgium, represents the latest advancement in cardiac pacing technology. Its successful implantation in a Johannesburg hospital underscores the nation’s commitment to staying at the forefront of global medical advancements.
Dr Levin expressed his team’s excitement about being among the first to access this cutting-edge technology. He stated, “Gaining early access to the first Amvia Sky pacemaker as it landed in South Africa was a privilege. It reflects our country’s commitment to staying abreast of global medical advancements.”
The patient benefiting from this groundbreaking technology was a young man in his early thirties, diagnosed with cardioinhibitory syncope, a condition leading to a drastic decrease in heart rate when blood pressure drops. This condition severely limited his physical capabilities and quality of life. It also caused recurrent fainting episodes.
Dr. Levin explained, “In his case, when his blood pressure dipped, his heart rate dropped to a range of five to ten beats per minute.”
The patient returned for system adjustments and personalisation a week after the implantation. Less than a month later, his device settings were optimised, significantly improving his quality of life.
The Amvia Sky pacemaker introduces a novel approach to cardiac pacing, equipped with a myocardial contractility sensor and closed-loop stimulation (CLS). It functions as a conducting system in the upper region of the heart, detecting a drop in blood pressure and restoring the heart’s natural myocardial contraction pattern.
In addition to its advanced pacing strategy, the Amvia Sky pacemaker stands out for its capacity to enhance safety and efficiency for patients requiring Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans. The device can automatically sense when a patient enters an MRI environment, switching to a safe mode for the scan and reverting to its initial settings afterwards. This feature is particularly beneficial in facilities like Netcare Milpark Hospital, where quick access to MRI scans is crucial in stroke cases.
Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s Hospital Division, emphasised the importance of patient-centric technologies in healthcare. “Our commitment to patient-centric technologies is unwavering,” he said. “At Netcare, we are leaders in the pursuit of personalised medicine, integrating enhanced therapies and greater efficiency into our care.”
The successful implantation of the Biotronik Amvia Sky pacemaker at Netcare Milpark Hospital marks more than a medical milestone; it serves as a beacon of hope for patients across Africa. It demonstrates the potential of modern technology to revolutionise treatment methods and significantly improve patient outcomes.
Picture: X / MattWatermeyer
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