The John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute (JOHVI) is the first to implant the Impella 5.0 heart pump for acute left ventricular unloading supported with Impella Connect – a new technology that enables physicians to monitor this heart pump remotely.* Dr. Aditya Bansal, Surgical Director of Heart Transplant, Mechanical Circulatory Support and ECMO at JOHVI, led a team of 10 nurses and medical professionals through the one and a half hour procedure to implant an Impella 5.0 supported with Impella Connect technology.
While acute mechanical support is becoming standard of care for advanced left ventricular heart failure, the technology to monitor beyond the bedside within the hospital is the first of its kind. The Impella 5.0 heart pump is designed to assist with the pumping function of the failing ventricle and surgically implanted through an incision in the axillary artery and passed down through the aortic valve down into the heart. It’s often used for patients who are in cardiogenic shock or who have cardiomyopathy and need help with left sided function, while allowing for the heart to rest. The Impella 5.0 heart pump, supported with Impella Connect technology, which received FDA approval in 2009, is the latest advancement for this life-saving device.
By utilizing the new Impella Connect technology, physicians bypass the traditional route of waiting for updates from the resident or nurse on duty. Now, the physician can remotely access patient data in real-time via an iPhone app regardless of location – hospital, home or in-between. Physicians have the added option to preset alerts for key changes such as if the position of the pump moves or if the pressure in a patient’s heart goes above a certain level.
“This technology is a game changer for how we approach patient care. It’s simple really – increased access to patient data enables us to make decisions faster, helping improve a patient’s overall safety and reduce the risk of complications” said Dr. Bansal.
Dr. Bansal is no stranger to pioneering new technologies and surgical approaches, having recently performed a successful double VAD implantation. Dr. Bansal and his colleagues collaborated with a surgical team in Germany to prepare for the nine-hour surgery.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 5.7 million adults are affected by heart failure. The condition occurs when the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood through to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. The heart compensates for this issue by enlarging, developing more muscle mass and pumping faster. These temporary measures can mask the problem while heart failure worsens. Heart failure can affect the heart’s left side, right side or both, but frequently impacts the left side first.
This surgery is the latest accomplishment for JOHVI, which has been a regional and national leader in cardiology and cardiac surgery for decades. JOHVI performed its 500th LVAD and 950th heart transplant in 2017. JOHVI is home to more than 50 cardiologists and surgeons who work closely with each patient to develop a customized healthcare plan that is both targeted and effective. Ochsner also participates in over 100 clinical trials for the goal of advancing knowledge of the mechanisms, treatments and diagnoses of cardiovascular disease. JOHVI was founded under the leadership of renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr. John L. Ochsner, Sr., who pioneered valve and coronary surgery.
*For the privacy and protection of those involved, no information will be released on the patient or their family at this time.