Wesley first to implant new MRI-compatible pacemaker
Billy Ray Allen, 61, of Runnelstown, became the first patient in Mississippi to receive an MRI-safe pacemaker in a procedure performed by Dr. Alan Covin at Wesley Medical Center.
"I wasn’t feeling right and was out of breath almost every day,” said Allen. “I couldn’t play with my grandchildren without needing to sit down.”
These symptoms, along with stomach pain and a black out period, led Allen’s family physician to recommend he visit Covin.
Testing revealed an irregular heart rhythm, 6-second pause in the communication between Allen’s heart and his brain.
The next day, Covin implanted the Revo MRI SureScan pacemaker, a new device by Medtronic.
Magnetic resonance imaging is one of the most accurate and least invasive ways for doctors to obtain images of the body’s soft tissue, such as organs and muscles. In the past, patients with pacemakers were recommended not to get MRIs because it can interrupt the pacemaker function. The Revo MRI pacing system can be programmed via remote prior to and after the test, making it relatively safe for use during an MRI, according to Covin.
Covin cautions that this pacemaker isn’t for everyone.
For Allen, having the pacemaker has restored his ability to do just about anything, he said.
"I've been feeling better ever since," he said. "The doctor told me I could go back to doing what I was doing, and I've been doing it."