Med’s Debut of Heart Device Helps Save Life
COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS (May 19, 2011) – a Belton woman has a new lease on life thanks to the skills of her doctor and a special heart catheter that has never been used in the Brazos Valley.
Last week, Interventional Cardiologist Marcel Lechin, M.D. became the first Brazos Valley physician to deploy the Impella®, the world’s smallest and only minimally invasive, mechanical cardiovascular support system. The Impella® is a tiny pump inside a catheter, only 6.4 mm in diameter. It has an electric motor that can pump approximately 2.5 liters of blood per minute sustaining the heart for up to 7 days.
This device is so small that it can be inserted into the patient’s heart through a small catheter placed through an artery in the leg. The pump is passed up the femoral artery in the leg and inserted into the left ventricle. X-rays are used to place the pump in the correct location. The pump uses an electrical motor attached to a 3mm wire which extends out of the patient, where it is connected to a battery and control pack the size of a small laptop computer.
Dr. Lechin used the Impella® because the patient was not a candidate for heart bypass surgery due to the condition of her lungs. Without the device, she would have required a lung transplant before being treated with more traditional methods.
Once the device was inserted, Dr. Lechin was able to address the area of the patient’s heart that needed repair by successfully deploying the stent. The procedure was a success and the patient was discharged May 13.
The Impella® LD Pump has been used in large market hospitals since 2009 when it was approved by the FDA. The College Station Medical Center acquired the technology early this year.
Click here to learn more about Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery at College Station Medical Center.