Fortis Escort brings world’s smallest Heart Pump to India

Dr Ashok Seth performs first ‘protected Angioplasty & stenting procedure, thanks to the new miniature pump

New Delhi: Fortis Escorts Heart Institute becomes the first cardiac centre of excellence to bring world’s smallest heart pump to India. And Dr Ashok Seth, Chairman, Cardiovascular Sciences, turns out to be the first interventional cardiologist to do ‘Protected Angioplasty and Stenting Procedure’ with the support of Impella Heart Pump. The pump does a body double for diseased heart.

A team led by Dr Seth, a renowned angioplasty expert, did the procedure on a patient suffering from life threatening blockages, who was at extreme high risk for bypass surgery. The miniature pump is new life saving device for patients suffering from high risk blockages and failing heart. This also marks the beginning of the first “Heart Recovery Program” in India, where the device can help the patient’s own diseased and weak heart to rest, recover and function on its own.

Impella Pump device can support a failing heart for upto 7-days and occasionally longer. It is like a catheter and works on the principle of submersible water pump; it is a thick as a pencil and approx. 6 inches long. Unlike other devices (which are large and need a surgery to implant) the Imeplla can be inserted into the heart without an operation percutaneously through the groin artery in the Cath Lab; it can provide blood flows of 2.5 – 3.5 liters/min. Impella heart pump is used to help maintain stable heart function and to help ensure blood flow is maintained to critical organs such as the brain and kidneys in cases of cardiogenic shock or during high risk angioplasties or surgeries. Once in position, the Impella heart pump withdraws blood from the left ventricle and expels it in to the ascending aorta, the same effect that happens with the pumping motion of your heart.

Dr Seth said, ‘The Impella can support failing heart (cardiogenic shock) due to heart attack or myocarditis for upto 7-days or even longer till heart recovery occurs. It can also be used to support the heart in cases of high risk angioplasties (Protected PCI) in patients with poor heart function and where surgery is considered too risky. It has been proven to support the heart to improve safety of the procedure and improve outcomes. When the procedure is over or the heart recovery occurs, the device can just be pulled out and removed as it is like a catheter. It is approved in and has been used in USA and Europe for the last few years and has been introduced into India now.

The device was used to treat a 86-year old gentleman who was admitted to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute with severe recurrent chest pains over a week and impending heart attack. An angiogram revealed all his arteries were more than 90% blocked with very hard, calcium deposited life threatening blockages. He had prohibitive risk for surgery so angioplasty was performed as a lifesaving procedure under the support of Impella. The patient had Rotablator drilling performed on all three arteries to remove the calcium followed by implantation of five stents in a procedure lasting for 2½ hours.

The heart was supported throughout on the Impella pump to maintain stable pressure and perfusion to brain and kidneys. The patient remained conscious, stable and complication free throughout the procedure. The patient continued the recovery and was transferred to the CCU. After the patient stabilized and was in CCU, the Impella pump was removed after 5-hours. The said patient is now well and walking around two days later.

Dr Seth added, ‘The device supported the heart admirably to keep the patient stable throughout the very complex angioplasty procedure and afterwards for recovery. It provides hope for numerous patients who have heart attack, multiple blockages and failing heart who are considered too high risk for treatment with angioplasty and surgery. They can now be treated with greater safety using the Impella .’


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