Hackensack U Medical Center first in world to implant new heart pump

Cardiac surgeons at Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center, part of the Hackensack Meridian health system, performed the first-in-human Impella RP Flex heart pump implant on Nov. 8.

The patient, a 71-year-old woman, had the implant to treat right heart failure during a minimally invasive valve replacement procedure, according to the Nov. 22 hospital release. She is doing well and expected to be released soon.

Impella RP Flex is FDA-approved to treat acute right heart failure for up to 14 days. The pump is implanted via the internal jugular vein and inserted with a catheter through a small incision in the patient's neck. It's used after left ventricular assist device implantation, myocardial infarction, heart transplant or open-heart surgery.

"This technology is game-changing, because it provides cardiac surgeons with a new, minimally invasive alternative to surgically implanted right heart support devices that require opening the chest during an invasive sternotomy," Mark Anderson, MD, chairman of the department of cardiac surgery at Meridian Hackensack.

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