Best Life: First-in-the-world device helps the right side of the heart

Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 6:26 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HACKENSACK, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – More than six million Americans have heart failure, meaning the heart can’t pump enough blood to support the rest of the organs in the body.

For years, doctors have used LVADs – left ventricular assist devices – to help patients get stronger.

Now, doctors in the U.S. are the first in the world to use a device for the right side of the heart.

When someone is in heart failure, doctors can use a small, mechanical device called LVAD to help pump blood and give the heart a chance to rest and recover.

“Historically, we were focusing mostly on the left ventricle. But now, we’re realizing that patients that have RV failure are not doing well,” said Hackensack University Medical Center cardiac surgeon, Yuriy Dudiy, MD, FACC.

Dr. Dudiy and his colleagues were the first in the world to use a temporary device to support the right side of the heart. Surgeons implant the Impella RP Flex by going through the internal jugular vein with a catheter.

“Impella RP Flex is designed to be inserted percutaneously, which means just with the needle stick, and it goes into the heart and provides support to the right ventricle,” said Dr. Dudiy.

The device can be used for up to 14 days before it’s removed, and it’s designed so the patient can be mobile.

“The benefit of going through the neck is that the patient can sit upright or can ambulate in the intensive care unit while recovering,” said Dr. Dudiy.

The Impella RP Flex can be used at the same time as an LVAD. The device can also provide support to patients who are waiting for a heart transplant.

The first three patients to undergo the Impella RP Flex implant have been weaned from the device. Two have gone home and did not need heart transplant surgery.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.