Impella 5.5: Portneuf Medical Center Achieves Another Milestone in Heart Care

The Portneuf Heart and Vascular Institute at Portneuf Medical Center achieved a significant milestone this month, when, for the first time, utilized the Impella 5.5 heart pump to successfully treat a patient during a procedure performed by Jacob DeLaRosa, MD, Cardiothoracic Surgeon.

Many patients can undergo major heart procedures without the support of a heart pump. However, patients with critical blockage or a weak heart muscle may require additional support provided by the Impella. Dr. DeLaRosa is the first surgeon in southeast Idaho to use this technology.

The patient, a 68 year old Pocatello man, was the first to have this lifesaving device implanted.

“Due to his poor heart function, he would not have been a candidate for a lifesaving surgery without this device. This amazing team was able to use the Impella to stabilize his heart and ready him for the procedure,” Dr. DeLaRosa said. “At this time, he is doing very well. This heart pump is a game changer as it provide another option for our sickest patients.”

Impella 5.5., a temporary heart pump, is implanted by a surgeon into a patient’s heart. This implant reduces the heart’s workload and oxygen demand and ensures blood flow continues to vital organs. Additionally, the pump gives the heart a chance to rest and recover after a heart attack.

“Portneuf Medical Center and our heart program is recognized as the leading provider of cardiovascular care in our region. As a team, we continue to pioneer new technology,” said Jacob DeLaRosa, MD. “Adding the Impella 5.5 to our cardiovascular offerings gives a new option for patients whose hearts are too week to effectively pump blood on their own following a heart attack. Locally, we are now able to provide severely ill patients the best chance to recover their native heart and return home with a good long-term quality of life. This is a major milestone for this program and this team.”

“This advanced technology gives us a new and potentially better option to treat very sick heart patients,” said Ayham Zoreikat, Cardiovascular Service Line Administrator at Portneuf Medical Center. “It is a minimally-invasive treatment option that enables a patient’s heart to rest and ultimately recover. I continue to be impressed with this team and their commitment to providing patients in our region with comprehensive cardiovascular treatment options.”

The Impella 5.5 device — which is a short-term left ventricular assist device (LVAD) — temporarily takes over the pumping function of the heart and can be used for up to 14 days, ensuring that the heart can still pump enough blood for the body while reducing strain on the heart during recovery.