Mechanical Circulatory Support

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Circulatory Support for Complex Cardiac Care
The specialists at Lutheran Hospital use mechanical circulatory support to treat advanced heart failure and other complex diseases of the heart. These devices support the heart by maintaining steady blood flow. They are designed to improve heart function and may deliver short-term solutions or long-term support.

Interventional cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons utilize clinical expertise to surgically implant mechanical circulatory support devices or, in the case of ECMO, set up the system.

Short-Term Circulatory Assistance
Temporary circulatory assist devices are used during certain high-risk coronary procedures or to allow the heart to rest as it recovers from extensive damage caused by a heart attack. Support devices used at Lutheran Hospital include:

  • Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP)
  • ECMO (partial heart-lung bypass)
  • Impella axial flow heart pump for right ventricle assistance
  • Impella axial flow heart pump for left ventricle assistance
  • TandemHeart left ventricular assist device

Ventricular Assist Devices for Long-Term Support
When medications and therapies are no longer effective in treating advanced heart failure, a ventricular assist device, or VAD, may be implanted. This device helps the lower chambers of the heart pump blood through the heart to the rest of the body. VADs may be used as a step to recovery or as destination therapy for patients unable to have a heart transplant.