Hackensack University Medical Center Cardiac Surgeons First in World to Implant FDA-Approved Impella RP Flex Heart Pump

The first-in-human Impella RP Flex implant procedure used minimally invasive catheter-based approach to treat right heart failure

Impella RP Flex

Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center cardiac surgeons Mark Anderson, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, and Yuriy Dudiy, M.D., became the first surgeons in the world to implant the recently FDA-approved Impella RP® Flex with SmartAssist® in a human patient in November 2022.

This first-in-human heart pump implantation was performed to treat right heart failure during a minimally invasive valve replacement procedure. Following the successful procedure, the patient, a 71-year-old woman, was discharged home within two weeks.

Impella RP Flex recently received FDA pre-market approval as being safe and effective to treat acute right heart failure for up to 14 days. It is implanted via the internal jugular vein, which enables patient mobility, and has dual-sensor technology that helps optimize pump management. Impella RP Flex is placed in the heart using a catheter inserted through a small incision in the patient’s neck and pumps blood from the superior vena cava to the pulmonary artery.

Impella RP Flex is used to treat right heart failure or decompensation following left ventricular assist device implantation, myocardial infarction, heart transplant or open-heart surgery.

“Impella RP Flex is a next-generation heart pump technology that can provide temporary right ventricular support for patients who experience right heart failure, allowing the heart to rest and recover,” said Dr. Anderson, who was involved in the initial research for Abiomed’s first right support device, Impella RP, for patients with right ventricular failure requiring short-term hemodynamic support.

“This technology is game-changing, because it provides cardiac surgeons with a new, minimally invasive alternative to surgically implanted right heart support devices that require opening the chest during an invasive sternotomy.”

Learn more about cardiovascular innovations happening at Hackensack University Medical Center.

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