Prevea and HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay are among the first in Northeast Wisconsin to offer Impella heart pump technology to our patients.
Coronary artery disease
is a chronic condition in which the arteries that supply blood to your heart become narrowed or blocked due to a buildup of fatty material, called plaque. If an artery becomes blocked, it can stop blood flow and cause a heart attack.
Advanced heart failure
is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart is too weak to pump enough blood throughout the body.
Symptoms of heart disease and/or heart failure may include:
- Chest pain or discomfort during or after physical exertion.
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing.
- Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, stomach and neck.
- Persistent, unexplained cough that could be a sign that fluid is building up in your lungs.
- Reduced heart function, also known as ejection fraction.
For some patients, it may be determined that their heart disease is too severe for a typical stenting procedure and too high-risk for surgery. One treatment option for these conditions may be protected percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), or protected stenting, using the Impella heart pump. A protected PCI is a non-surgical, minimally invasive procedure performed in a catheterization lab (cath lab) by an interventional cardiologist.
During the stenting procedure, this pencil-sized device helps blood flow in patients with severe heart failure or cardiogenic shock. This is a widely accepted procedure which uses the heart pump to temporarily assist the pumping function of the heart to efficiently deliver blood and oxygen to the entire body and ensures blood flow is maintained to critical organs, enabling your cardiologist to perform a complete and optimized procedure, decreasing the likelihood of repeat procedures and multiple hospital stays.
The Impella heart pump is inserted through a small incision and advanced through the arteries into the heart. Impella pulls blood from the left ventricle and releases it into the aorta, providing pumping support. This active “unloading” of the left ventricle increases blood flow to vital organs. When support is no longer needed, your cardiologist will remove Impella before you leave the hospital.
Is Impella right for you?
While the PCI procedure is appropriate for some patients with heart disease, a surgical procedure called coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) may be recommended for others, depending on the patient’s medical condition. The goals of both CABG and PCI procedures are the same—to restore blood flow to the heart and improve the quality of life for patients with coronary artery disease. PCI is a minimally invasive procedure. CAGB is an open-heart surgical procedure that requires the heart to be exposed for surgical care.
If you have been diagnosed with coronary artery disease or heart failure, talk to your cardiologist about the best treatment option for you.