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First ever MRI-safe pacemaker fitted at Musgrove


Ben Issitt of Enmore has become the first patient in the south west to be fitted with a brand new type of pacemaker.

17 May 10 -- Ben Issitt of Enmore has become the first patient in the south west to be fitted with a brand new type of pacemaker.

Ben, 22, was fitted with a new Advisa MRI safe pacemaker that means he will be able to have an MRI scan in the future should he need one. This is not possible with an ordinary pacemaker.

“I have been suffering from low blood pressure and blackouts since Christmas, and was rushed into Musgrove by ambulance recently. The operation itself took about two hours and, following extensive tests, was done within two days of my admission. I have a scar at the top of my chest but as the new pacemaker regulates my heartbeat, it makes a big difference; I feel great now. I can’t speak highly enough of the staff, they have all been fantastic,” he said.

Because of Ben’s young age, it is extremely valuable to be able to fit this new type of pacemaker, said Dr. Mark Dayer, a consultant cardiologist at Musgrove Park, who carried out the procedure.

“Patients with pacemakers usually have to have CT scans instead of MRIs. For a young man this could mean a lot of radiation scans over his life, which carries its own risks. The operation went well and Ben went home the next day,” he said.

Ben was the first patient in the south west to receive the new product, which was produced by medical device company Medtronic using an advanced design to protect the pacemaker from the strong magnetic fields of the MRI.

Musgrove Park Hospital is one of the largest pacing centers in the NHS South West and the team perform over 500 pacing procedures each year. Musgrove Park Hospital Taunton is part of Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.

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