Lexington Medical Center Implants Micra Wireless Pacemaker

Lexington Medical Center has become the first hospital in South Carolina to implant a new wireless pacemaker known as Micra™ into a patient to fix a slow heartbeat. Called the world’s smallest pacemaker, this device is not visible under the skin, and because there are no wires connected to it, there is a lower risk of complications. The Lexington Medical Heart Center team performed this pacemaker implantation inside the hospital’s cardiac electrophysiology lab on March 14, 2017.

“This device represents a significant breakthrough in pacing technology,” said William W. Brabham, MD, FHRS, of Lexington Cardiology, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “The ability to deliver pacing therapy using such a small device is revolutionary. It’s very exciting to think of the possibilities in the future.”

Dr. William Brabham

A pacemaker helps restore a healthy heart rhythm by sending tiny electrical signals to the heart to increase the heart rate. Traditionally, pacemakers have been implanted below the collarbone through an incision and have included leads, which are insulated wires. The leads carry the electrical impulse from the pacemaker to the heart.

The size of a vitamin capsule, Micra is more than 90 percent smaller than other pacemakers. It’s implanted in a minimally-invasive procedure through a vein in the leg directly into the heart, removing the need for leads to act as pulse generators and the appearance of any visible scar below the collarbone. Because leads in traditional pacemakers may shift, there is a small risk of those devices not working properly when needed; with no leads, Micra eliminates that concern. Also, its size and location can mean fewer post-implant activity restrictions and no obstructions to shoulder movement.


Manufactured by Medtronic, Micra is the first FDA-approved wireless pacemaker. It’s for patients who need a single chamber pacemaker. The device has more than a 99 percent implant success rate and 48 percent fewer major complications reported than with traditional pacemakers.

The Lexington Medical Heart Center team has received extensive training on proper device implantation. Dr. Brabham and Robert Malanuk, MD, FACC, performed the first Micra implantation at the hospital

For more information on Lexington Medical Center’s comprehensive cardiovascular care program, visit LexMed.com/Heart.

The Art of Healing

Nine Lexington County high school students have received prizes and awards in the 8th annual “Art of Healing,” a juried art competition for Lexington County high school students sponsored by Lexington Medical Center in partnership with the Columbia Museum of Art. The students created drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures that each depicted their interpretation of healing. The Columbia Museum of Art will display the artwork until March 12. LMC will then display the artwork in the hospital’s North Tower Atrium until April 13.

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“Lexington Medical Center is proud to partner with the Columbia Museum of Art to give students the opportunity to express their interpretation of healing through art,” said Barbara Willm, vice president of Development and Community Relations. “The creativity and thought put into each entry and their interpretations of the art of healing truly inspire us. Displaying their work at the Columbia Museum of Art is a wonderful way for our community to see how these students look at the world.”

Art teachers from Lexington County high schools each chose one student’s artwork to enter in the competition. All artwork had to incorporate healing or health. Many of the students’ entries shared inspirational personal stories of family members’ health challenges and recovery.

Award-wining fine artist Michael Story judged the entries and selected the winners.

First Place
Madison Stone, “Bliss”

Second Place
Crystal Clements, “Pieces of Me”

Third Place
Lindsay Hislop, “What Is Family”
Juror’s Choice
Emily Filaseta, “Silenced Survivor”
Taylan Salisbury, “Issues We Face”
Emily Cooper, “No Mere Trinkets”
Honorable Mention
Morgan Gavin, “Diversity”
Erin Lesslie, “Oath”
Jason Fanelli Jr., “Liquor Burns”

The Colon Cancer Challenge: Increasing Screening Can Save Lives

Colon cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women in South Carolina. This year, about 2,200 people will receive a colon cancer diagnosis in our state and 800 people in South Carolina will die from the disease.
But it’s also one of the most preventable forms of cancer – and treatable when detected early. Unfortunately, only 64 percent of the people in our state age 50 or older report ever being screened.

The best tool to screen for colon cancer is a colonoscopy, which is considered one of the most powerful tools in clinical medicine because of its ability to identify and remove polyps before they become cancerous. Early detection and intervention can reduce mortality from colon cancer by up to 90 percent.

In general, people should have a colonoscopy at age 50. Patients with a family history of colon cancer should talk to their doctor and begin screening earlier. Sometimes, colon cancer may not cause symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they may be bleeding, abdominal pain or a change in bowel habits. People with those symptoms should talk to their doctor, regardless of age.

Dr. Samir Shah

“Don’t delay having a colonoscopy,” said Samir R. Shah, MD, a surgeon with Lexington Surgical Associates, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice, who has special training in colon and rectal surgery. “It’s a painless procedure, and it’s better to be checked than to ignore an issue that could have been preventable and, most importantly, curable.”
While genetics may play a role in some colon cancer cases, most occur in someone with no family history of the disease. Factors that increase the risk of developing colon cancer include tobacco and heavy alcohol use, consumption of red or processed meat, diabetes, obesity and a low-fiber diet.

Dr. Marc Antonetti

“The incidence of colon cancer is higher for men than women, especially African-American men,” said Mark C. Antonetti, MD, FACS, at Riverside Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. “It also occurs more frequently in communities with high rates of obesity and diabetes. And unfortunately, South Carolina usually ranks as one of the top 10 states in the country for these risk factors.”

Surgical treatment for colon cancer has improved over the years. It used to be that patients had a large abdominal incision, spent a week in the hospital and endured months of recovery. Now, doctors can perform the surgery with laparoscopic or robotic techniques, allowing patients to recover faster, experience less pain and go home from the hospital within two to three days.

“In many cases, surgical removal of the tumor cures the disease and no further treatment is required,” said Jeffrey S. Libbey, MD, FACS, of Southern Surgical Group, a Lexington Medical Center physician practice. Dr. Libbey is fellowship trained in minimally invasive surgery and has performed 2,000 laparoscopic colon surgeries at Lexington Medical Center. “Some patients may require chemotherapy and radiation. The multidisciplinary cancer team at our hospital, which includes surgeons and oncologists, works together to determine the best course of action for each individual patient.”

Colon cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers at Lexington Medical Center, with doctors diagnosing 134 cases in 2015. Because of Lexington Medical Center’s affiliation with Duke Health, patients are connected to the latest treatments, technologies, preventive therapies and diagnostic techniques.

At Lexington Medical Cancer Center, clinicians fight cancer with patients and for patients.

To learn more about cancer services at Lexington Medical Center, visit LexMed.com/Cancer.