West Jefferson Medical Center (WJMC) physicians have a new, pencil-sized device to help blood flow in patients with impaired heart function and/or complex heart disease.
Called the Impella 2.5 or 5.0, the device is a minimally invasive catheter pump that can support the heart with up to two and a half to five liters of blood per minute.
The pump is implanted through an incision in the groin. From there, a cardiac surgeon and interventional cardiologist team advance the device through the patient’s femoral artery until the device sits across the aortic valve, with one end in the left ventricle and the other in the aorta. The pump draws blood from the left ventricle and pumps it into the aorta and the rest of the body.
The device is designed to help a patient’s weakened heart gain strength before or during a more invasive procedure that otherwise wouldn’t be immediately possible due to the patient’s current condition.
“The Impella allows us to give patients immediate help who otherwise would not be able to survive a major procedure,” says Charles Everson, MD, a WJMC cardiothoracic surgeon. “A year or two years ago, without devices like this, these types of patients would not have any other options and may not have survived.”
“Access to this novel technology shows West Jefferson's commitment to providing the highest quality, leading-edge cardiovascular care,” says Dr. Sanjay G. Dravid, MD, a cardiologist at West Jeff.