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Also known as: Portable heart pump

Duration: Variable

The Impella is currently the world’s smallest portable heart pump. It is a minimally invasive treatment option for heart failure that follows a cardiac catheterization.

Types of Impella

Impella RP – placed in the right ventricle and extends into the pulmonary vein. It pulls blood from the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) into the pulmonary artery so that the right heart can be supported and not pump too hard. 

Impella – placed in the left ventricle and extends into the aorta. It pulls blood from the left ventricle into the aorta so that the left heart can be supported and not pump too hard. 


Preparing for the procedure:

Download Pre Procedure Instructions

How it is performed: 

  • Firstly, a cardiac catheterization is performed to check for any blocks in the coronary arteries. A catheter (a thin, long tube) is placed in either your arms, legs, or groin and is monitored by an x-ray camera until it reaches the coronaries.
  • A contrast dye is then infused so that the arteries can be seen. 
  • The cardiologist will determine the type of impella required.
  • Once the Impella is placed, the ventricular functions can be analyzed in real-time through a monitor.

After the procedure:

Download Post Procedure Instructions

Glazier JJ, Kaki A. The Impella Device: Historical Background, Clinical Applications and Future Directions. Int J Angiol. 2019;28(2):118-123. doi:10.1055/s-0038-1676369
Konstantinou K, Keeble TR, Kelly PA, et al. Protected percutaneous coronary intervention with Impella CP in a patient with left main disease, severe left ventricular systolic dysfunction and established hemolysis. Cardiovasc Diagn Ther. 2019;9(2):194-199. doi:10.21037/cdt.2019.02.06
Burzotta F, Russo G, Previ L, Bruno P, Aurigemma C, Trani C. Impella: pumps overview and access site management. Minerva Cardioangiol. 2018;66(5):606-611. doi:10.23736/S0026-4725.18.04703-5