Torrance Memorial Lundquist Cardiovascular Institute, a regional leader in high quality cardiovascular care, is the first in
the South Bay to offer Impella—the world’s smallest heart pump.
The Impella device, a new, minimally invasive heart catheter pump, provides
temporary circulatory support, which eases the workload of the heart muscle
in patients with weakened or failing hearts.
How Does The Impella Heart Pump Work?
In the event of a heart attack or cardiac failure, cardiologists can insert
the Impella in just minutes. Unlike open-heart surgery that requires surgeons
to make a large incision in the chest, the Impella heart pump can be implanted
through a small groin incision in the cardiac catheterization lab, without
the need for surgical intervention.
From there, the Impella device is advanced through the patient’s
femoral artery using a standard catheter wire. The pump is then guided
up to the heart until the device sits across the aortic valve, with one
end in the left ventricle, where it keeps the patient’s blood pumping
through the body. With the support of the Impella pump, doctors can safely
perform procedures such as balloon angioplasty, or insert stents to unclog
blocked arteries and restore blood flow in even the most seriously ill
The Impella heart pump provides lifesaving support for patients whose hearts
are too weak to survive surgical procedures that would otherwise be too
risky. This tiny heart pump will help Torrance Memorial Medical Center
- The world’s smallest heart pump
- Smaller than the width of a pencil
- It can be inserted percutaneously (through the skin) through a small hole
in the leg, up through the aorta into the left ventricle, which is the
main pumping chamber of the heart
- Pumps in the Impella platform can deliver 2.5 to 5 liters of blood flow
- Impella often does not require surgery
Impella procedures often take place in the
catheterization lab (cath lab)
On Monday, April 6, 2015, Abiomed Mobile Learning Lab was at Torrance Memorial
Medical Center for hands-on training on the Impella device. Dr. Ray M.
Wyman, Interventional Cardiologist, explains the world's smallest
heart pump available for high-risk patients at Torrance Memorial Medical
Center on CBS Los Angeles’ Health Watch.
Watch the segment here [video].