New Procedure at Wuesthoff-Rockledge Offers Help to High-Risk Cardiac Patients

Interventional Cardiologist at Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge Uses New Impella Technology for Cardiovascular Procedure



Rockledge, Florida (July 19, 2017) – An interventional cardiologist at Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge conducted the hospital’s first procedure using Impella®, the world’s smallest heart pump, in June. Designed to provide minimally invasive, temporary support for patients with heart failure, technology like Impella will allow Wuesthoff to provide more comprehensive and advanced care options to patients with advanced coronary disease. Impella also has the potential to save costs in the healthcare system.


Impella is the only FDA-approved percutaneous hemodynamic support device determined safe and effective for the treatment of elective and emergent high-risk patients. It recently received expanded approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


“It’s a form of bypass without opening the person’s chest,” said Ravi Rao, MD, the interventional cardiologist who performed the procedure for Wuesthoff. “This is a breakthrough. It allows us to do a high-risk angioplasty for patients who cannot undergo heart surgery.”


The Impella device is placed into the heart through a peripheral artery and will support the heart circulatory system during a high-risk percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) procedure, called Protected PCI. It is also approved to treat cardiogenic shock, a condition where the heart fails to pump enough blood to vital organs, causing them to shut down. Cardiogenic shock typically happens during or after a heart attack. Impella works for the heart, allowing it to rest and recover while doctors place stents in the patient’s arteries to unblock them and increase blood flow.


Rao said the advantages of using the device are many. First, it extends treatment to a group of patients unable to tolerate the conventional procedures. Second, it allows the patient to go home the next day or even the same day as the procedure – without lengthy rehab. As a result, Rao said, it provides “dramatic improvements in the patient’s quality of life.”


Andy Romine, president of Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge, praised the technology as a major step forward in the treatment of high-risk cardiac patients. “It’s a wonderful addition to our array of cardiovascular offerings at Wuesthoff, and it’s consistent with our commitment to providing a wide range of treatment options,” Romine said. “We expect this procedure to greatly improve the lives of many heart patients in our community.”

Wuesthoff Medical Center–Rockledge joins more than 1,000 hospitals in the United States that use Impella products. More than 50,000 patients in the United States have benefited from Impella support.


About Wuesthoff Health System:

The Mission of Wuesthoff Health System: Everyone doing everything to pursue the perfect

patient experience. Wuesthoff Health System includes Wuesthoff Medical Center-Rockledge and Wuesthoff Medical Center-Melbourne, both full acute care hospitals and Wuesthoff Health

Services, a network of affiliates providing rehab services, wound care, laboratory services and

assisted living. For more information on Wuesthoff Health System, visit

About Steward Health Care:

Steward Health Care is a fully integrated national health care services organization committed to providing the highest quality of care in the communities where our patients live. Steward owns and operates 18 community hospitals across four states, serves over 800 communities, and has more than 23,000 employees. The Steward network includes more than 25 urgent care centers, 42 preferred skilled nursing facilities, substantial behavioral health offerings, and more than 3,700 beds under management.

The innovative, community-based Steward Health Care Network includes more than 4,500 physicians who care for approximately 2 million patients annually. Steward Medical Group, the company’s employed physician group, provides more than 1 million patient encounters per year and manages Steward Home Care and Hospice with 300,000 and 35,000 patient encounters respectively. Steward’s unique health care service delivery model leverages technology and care coordination to keep patients healthier and in the community. Steward is recognized as one of the nation’s leading accountable care organizations. Steward hospitals have received the country’s top awards for quality and safety.

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About Impella

The Impella products offer the unique ability to stabilize the patient's hemodynamics and unload the heart, which allows the muscle time to rest and potentially recover its native function. The Impella 2.5 heart pump received FDA Premarket Approval (PMA) for high risk PCI in March 2015. The Impella 2.5, Impella CP, and Impella 5.0 heart pumps received FDA PMA for the treatment of cardiogenic shock following an acute myocardial infarction/heart attack or after heart surgery in April 2016. These are the first and only percutaneous ventricular support devices that are FDA-approved as safe and effective for the cardiogenic shock indication. The Impella product portfolio, which is comprised of the Impella 2.5, Impella CP, Impella 5.0, Impella LD, and Impella RP devices, has supported over 50,000 patients in the United States.



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