World's Smallest Heart Pump

Published On 07/11/2011

Methodist North Hospital is the first hospital in Memphis and surrounding communities to use the world’s smallest heart pump, the Abiomed Impella 2.5 circulatory support system, which uses a tiny pump to take over the job of circulating blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

The Impella is potentially life-saving technology for patients whose hearts are so weak that they are unable to pump blood to the vital organs. The tiny heart pump is actually smaller than a number 2 pencil eraser. It is inserted within a catheter through a tiny incision in the groin, up through the aorta, and into the left ventricle of the heart. The Impella is much like a small turbine that takes the blood from the heart and pumps it into circulation throughout the body. It is meant to support what the heart is doing and that it gives the heart a chance to rest, relieving the heart of the burden of pumping blood.

This revolutionary device is most appropriate for two types of patients, those who are desperately ill and those whose hearts are too weak to undergo interventional therapies such as stents or angioplasty to open blocked arteries.

The Impella allows us to buy the time needed to get patients to the catheterization lab and repair arteries. It can also help patients who have a very sick heart gain the time they need for their hearts to heal.

To find a Methodist-affiliated heart surgeon in Memphis, Tennesee, please call 888.777.5959 or use our physician locator.