The Right Device - Therapeutic devices enhance heart function

When your heart needs a little extra help, CHI St. Vincent Heart Institute offers the most advanced therapies and devices available. Some of the most important treatments include heart pumps, which help your heart move blood throughout your body, and valve repair and replacement.

Heart Pumps

Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) are used for patients with heart failure. These devices sustain a weakened heart by helping it pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. This allows the heart to rest, heal and grow stronger. An LVAD also enables patients to recover more quickly from a massive heart attack and significant heart muscle damage. CHI St. Vincent Infirmary is recognized as a Joint Commission Certified Center of Excellence for its LVAD program. Learn more about patients’ experiences with LVADs in “A Bridge to Life” on page 4.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a mechanical device that supports the heart or lung function temporarily. This therapy supports patients in cardiac and respiratory failure. ECMO is used during life-threatening conditions such as severe lung damage from infection, or shock after a massive heart attack. Typically, people are supported by an ECMO machine for only a few hours to days, but may require it for a few weeks, depending on how their condition progresses.

The Impella® heart pump is the world’s smallest heart pump. This device is inserted into the heart using minimally invasive surgery. It provides temporary support for patients who have heart failure or are in cardiogenic shock as the result of a heart attack. CHI St. Vincent has implanted more heart pumps than any hospital in the state of Arkansas.

Valve Repair and Replacement

Each of the four valves of your heart play an important role in delivering blood, oxygen and nutrients to your body. Properly working valves open and close all the way to regulate blood flow. If the valve is not working properly, it may be replaced or repaired. At CHI St. Vincent, many of these surgeries are done using minimally invasive surgery, where only a small incision is required.

Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) is a less invasive procedure we offer for patients with severe heart valve disease of the aortic valve. A catheter is inserted in the leg or chest and a replacement valve is inserted through the catheter and guided to the heart.