News | June 04, 2015

Beaumont Hospital Offers New Device for Right-Side Heart Failure Patients

Seventy-two-year-old patient becomes first in Michigan to receive Impella RP pump

Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak, Impella RP, right-side heart failure, Abiomed

June 4, 2015 - Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak is one of the first centers in the United States to use a new minimally invasive heart pump designed to provide temporary support for patients with severe right-side heart failure.

The Impella RP device provides circulatory assistance for up to 14 days for patients who develop severe right heart failure following heart attack, open-heart surgery, heart transplantation or left ventricular assist device implantation.

Beaumont, Royal Oak interventional cardiologist Ivan Hanson, M.D., and heart surgeon Jeffrey Altshuler, M.D., performed Michigan's first commercial implant of the new device on March 26, in a 72-year-old man from Detroit.

"The Impella RP is a tremendous advance for patients who develop acute right heart failure," says Simon Dixon, M.D., chair of cardiovascular medicine, Beaumont Health System. "Until now, there have been few options for these critically ill patients other than a surgically implanted ventricular assist device. This revolutionary technology provides a minimally invasive approach to support and bridge these patients until the right heart has had time to recover."

According to James Goldstein, M.D, a Beaumont cardiologist and pioneer in the field of heart attack involving the right heart, "This device has the potential to stabilize a patient in a life-threatening situation and give them hope for recovery without further interventions."

The Impella RP is implanted in the right side of the patient's heart via a very small incision in the femoral vein in the leg. Once positioned, the heart pump draws blood from the inferior vena cava, the major vein that drains to the heart, into the main pulmonary artery in the lungs, resting the patient's right pump, or ventricle.

The device can only be used for patients in the hospital and is removed when the physician determines that the right side of the patient's heart has recovered.

In clinical research studies, the Impella RP helped improve heart function in patients by allowing their right heart to rest and recover. Some patients became candidates for permanent heart pumps. Others were able to avoid major operations such as open-heart surgery. In a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved clinical trial of the device conducted in 2014, approximately 3 out of 4 patients treated with the device survived for either 30 days or to hospital discharge. The device was successfully implanted in 9 out of 10 patients.

The Impella RP was developed by Abiomed Inc., based in Danvers, Massachusetts.

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