Easing Surgery for People with Heart Failure

Easing Surgery for People with Heart Failure


[ Music ]>>Heart failure is a condition
in which the heart is unable to provide sufficient blood
flow to sustain the body.>>It’s also one of the
biggest health problems in U.S. with over 7 million people
currently having advanced heart failure and, you know, being one of the most common health
problems for adult population.>>Symptoms of heart failure
are really quite varied. It could be something as
simple as shortness of breath with activity, exhaustion,
and then some of the signs could be lower
extremity swelling, which is one of the hallmarks of
congestive heart failure. So our program at Strong
Memorial Hospital started in 2000. We’ve had our program to be
approved as an LVAD center and recognized locally,
regionally, and nationally as a very strong LVAD center. The mainstay of treatment is
beta blockers or ACE inhibitors. Unfortunately, there is a
large subset of patients that, despite being on all
of these medications and having the defibrillator
implanted where unfortunately their
heart condition just continues over time to worsen.>>HeartMate 3 is a so-called
left ventricular assist device. HeartMate 3 has been the first
pump that’s been implanted with this less invasive
technique that we’ve developed here. We were the first one in the
country to implant HeartMate 3 through a less invasive
approach. So it’s a mechanical
pump that is fully, magnetically levitated. And it’s a pump that
has a little rotor, and it has magnets
around the rotor. In that way, using a centrifugal
force, pushes the blood out and pushes the blood to
the rest of the body. That helps patients by adding
additional three, four, or five liters of blood flow to
the already existing blood flow that they have with
their weakened heart. The procedure altogether takes
roughly four to five hours. We’ve implanted over 100
patients with this technique.>>So this pump that I have in my right-hand is
called the HeartMate XVE, and this was the first implanted
pump that was implanted in the year 2000 or so. And based on the implantation of
this mechanical heart pump, it was shown that actually
people survived much longer with this heart pump
compared to, at that time, conventional medical therapy.>>This newest pump has
the same implant position, so this little tip goes inside
of the apex or at the top of the heart while the
outflow graft comes out of this port here and
gets connected to the aorta. Just — today, we can do it through these two small
incisions compared to a very big surgery that we
used to have to do with the XVE.>>In terms of the
recovery time, looking at all the different
pumps, it really is dependent on the surgical approach. The fact that these pumps are
now implanted in a minimally or less invasive way,
saving the sternum or the breastbone allows the
patients to get up much faster.>>So patients are obviously
always a little puzzled by what that means that you have
a little cord coming out of your belly but at the end of the day they feel
much better going home. And they overall really,
really do well with the pump. We really decreased our length
of stay with this technique for a little less than a week.>>They’re able to get their
quality of life back nearly to the point where it was
before they were plagued with their underlying
heart condition. I do think that minimally
invasive LVAD implantation will be the future of the treatment
of advanced heart disease and also in the foreseeable
future having devices that are fully implantable. That is the key. Having a device that
is fully implantable where there is no longer an
electrical wire that exits out of the body because
any foreign body that leaves the body and
disrupts the integrity of the skin and of the body
is a risk for infection and so making a device that’s
fully implanted would truly be revolutionary and
a game changer.