Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP)

The intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a mechanical device that improves the function of the left ventricle, which helps the heart pump blood. It is a long, thin tube (catheter) with a balloon on the end of it that is inserted into the aorta, the body’s largest artery. The balloon inflates and deflates with the rhythm of your heart.

The left ventricle is the chamber that pumps blood into your aorta. An intra-aortic balloon pump inflates when your left ventricle has finished contracting. This helps increase blood flow to the rest of the body. As the left ventricle is about to pump out blood, the balloon deflates, creating extra space in the aorta for more blood to be pumped out. This decreases the workload on the heart.

  1. Acute mitral valve regurgitation.
  2. Severe heart failure.
  3. Failure to wean from cardiopulmonary bypass.
  4. Cardiogenic shock.
  5. Acute heart attack.
  6. Support during high-risk percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty, rotablator procedures, and coronary stent placement.
  7. Support for high-risk patients during other types of surgery, as determined necessary by the doctor.
  1. Severe aortic valve regurgitation.
  2. Dissecting aortic aneurysm.
  3. Aortoiliac occlusive disease.
  4. Blood clotting abnormalities.
  5. Brain death.
  6. End-stage cancer.
  7. Heart disease that cannot be treated with a heart transplant.
The intra-aortic balloon pump may be indicated for the following patients with appropriate preparation:
  1. Patient with coronary artery graft.
  2. Patient with coronary artery aneurysm.
  3. Patient with aortofemoral graft.
  1. Transient loss of peripheral pulse
  2. Limb ischemia
  3. Blocked blood vessels
  4. Damage to the aorta
  5. Injury to the blood vessels
  6. Infection
  7. Damage to the balloon
  8. Low platelets or damage to red blood cells
  9. Impact on other organs (such as brain, kidney) due to cardiac tamponade
The success of the procedure depends on a number of factors. Please discuss the likelihood of success with your doctor before the procedure.
What if the procedure is not performed?
Please discuss specific risks of not having the procedure done with your doctor.
The doctor may consider the use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) which takes the place of the left ventricle. Surgery is performed to place an inflow cannula to receive blood from the left atrium, which then travels through the pump and into the outflow cannula and to the ascending aorta and the rest of the body.

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