Impella RP Flex Helps the Right Side of the Heart


HACKENSACK, N.J. (Ivanhoe Newswire) – More than six million Americans have heart failure, meaning the heart can’t pump enough blood to support the rest of the organs in the body. For years, doctors have used LVADs – left ventricular assist devices – to help the patient get stronger. Now, doctors in the U.S. are the first in the world to use a device for the right side of the heart. Impella RP Flex

When someone is in heart failure, doctors can use a small, mechanical device called an LVAD to help pump blood and give the heart a chance to rest and recover.

“Historically, we were focusing mostly on the left ventricle. But now, we’re realizing that patients that have RV failure are not doing well,” Hackensack University Medical Center cardiac surgeon, Yuriy Dudiy, MD, FACC explains.

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Dr. Dudiy and his colleagues were the first in the world to use a temporary device to support the right side of the heart. Surgeons implant the Impella RP Flex by going through the internal jugular vein with a catheter.

“Impella RP Flex is designed to be inserted percutaneously, which means just with the needle stick, and it goes into the heart and provides support to the right ventricle,” Dr. Dudiy further explains.

The device can be used for up to 14 days before it’s removed, and it’s designed so the patient can be mobile.

Dr. Dudiy says, “The benefit of going through the neck is that the patient can sit upright or can ambulate in the intensive care unit while recovering.”

The Impella RP Flex can be used at the same time as an LVAD. The device can also provide support to patients who are waiting for a heart transplant. The first three patients to undergo the Impella RP Flex implant have been weaned from the device. Two have gone home and did not need heart transplant surgery.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Producer; Kirk Manson, Videographer; Roque Correa, Editor.

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REPORT:       MB #5189

BACKGROUND: Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. This can occur because of a variety of underlying conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. An estimated 6.5 million Americans over the age of 20 have heart failure. The symptoms of heart failure can vary, but they typically include shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in the legs and ankles, rapid or irregular heartbeat, and coughing or wheezing. In severe cases, heart failure can lead to life-threatening complications, such as heart attacks, strokes, and fluid buildup in the lungs.


DIAGNOSING: Heart failure is diagnosed by a variety of symptoms co existing and signs of fluid buildup in the heart. It usually involves a combination of medical history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests, such as an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, or chest X-ray. These tests can help to determine the underlying cause of heart failure and the severity of the condition. Treatment options will depend on the severity of the situation. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing salt intake and losing weight can help to improve symptoms and prevent further damage to the heart.


NEW TECHNOLOGY: The Impella RP Flex is now being introduced in the United States to treat heart disease and recovery through a controlled rollout at centers across the country. The medical device is used for the treatment of patients with heart failure. It is a type of percutaneous left ventricular support device that provides temporary circulatory support for the heart during a high-risk procedure. It operates by removing blood from the left ventricle and returning it to the aorta, effectively taking over the pumping function of the heart. This allows the heart to rest and recover, while blood flow to the body’s vital organs is maintained.



Mary McGeever

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Doctor Q and A

Read the entire Doctor Q&A for Yuriy Dudiy, MD, FACC Cardiac surgeon

Read the entire Q&A