Medical first in Montreal: New MRI-compatible device corrects heart failure
A patient at the Montreal General Hospital is part of a medical first in Canada.
Maurice Des Alliers has had a small device implanted to correct his heart failure – and it's MRI compatible.
Doctors expect the device to become more common for patients who suffer from heart failure since it allows one implant to do the job of three different technologies.
“They have been able to make simple pacemakers compatible, simple defibrillators compatible and now for the first time in Canada, the 3-in-1 device,” said Vidal Essebag, the electrophysiology director at the MUHC and performed the surgery using the new implantable device.
Surgically implanted just below the collarbone, traditional Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy Defibrillators can improve the heart's function, but a serious drawback is that patients are unable to undergo MRI scans after the procedure because the strong magnetic fields in the MRI machine can affect the device.
The new technology is vital because MRI is the most powerful imaging method for cardiac patients, allowing doctors to better diagnose and manage patients’ conditions.
“The device sits under the skin, usually on the left side,” explained Essebag.
“There's a wire that goes on the top right, a second one on the bottom right of the heart and the third one stimulates the outside of the bottom left of the heart,” he explained. “So instead of the heart beating out of sync, it can regain the synchronicity of the heartbeat.”
So far it's been a success.
Des Aillers said he’s ready to live life to the fullest and spend plenty of time with his grandson.
“I feel good, more secure,” said Des Aillers. “I'm not afraid anymore."