What is Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP)?
An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a device that helps the heart to pump blood. It is indicated for the treatment of acute heart attack and heart failure. An IABP increases the blood flow and reduces the workload on your heart.
Procedure of Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump
The IABP is fixed to a thin, long tube called a catheter, which is inserted into the aorta (artery that transports blood to the entire body) through the femoral artery in the leg by making a small incision in the groin. The balloon is positioned below the heart, at the center of the aorta. Your doctor uses an X-ray to monitor the complete procedure during insertion. The balloon inflates and deflates conjointly with the heart rhythm. The balloon collapses when the left ventricle contracts to allow blood to flow out to the body, and inflates when the ventricle relaxes, to allow blood to enter into the heart. It is used only for a few hours or days to stabilize a patient, necessitating a long-term, permanent treatment.
Risks and Complications of Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump
However, like all invasive procedures, IABP insertion may be associated with certain complications such as infection, over-inflation of the balloon, which may damage the aorta, and hematoma (collection of blood outside blood vessels).