Excela Health continues to advance cardiovascular care in the region as the first healthcare system in Pennsylvania to offer a new procedure that improves symptoms in patients with systolic heart failure.
Electrophysiologists and vascular surgeons at the Heart Center at Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital this week announced their first successful implantation of Barostim ™ Baroreflex Activation Therapy. The implantable is the world’s first FDA-approved heart failure device to use neuromodulation – the power of the brain and nervous system. This advanced, award-winning therapy was designed to treat patients with heart failure who have had little or no success with other proven treatment options.
Excela’s first patient is a 48-year-old man with a history of coronary heart disease, myocardial infarction and chronic systolic heart failure. As a result of the Barostim procedure, her condition will continue to be medically treated with drugs directed by American Heart Association guidelines and her previously implanted cardiac defibrillator based on her elevated risk of cardiac arrest. The patient will be seen at the Excela Health Heart Failure Clinic for follow-up and monitoring of the device.
“Heart failure is a chronic, progressive disease in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen,” said James Adisey, cardiologist of Exela Health, medical director of Exela Heart, Pulmonary and Vascular Institute. . “Basically, the heart cannot keep up with its workload.”
Coronary artery disease is considered to be one of the main causes of heart failure. Once the blood supply is reduced throughout the body, patients experience fatigue, shortness of breath, reduced physical activity, and swelling of the ankles and legs. The progression of the disease guides cardiologists in choosing the most appropriate treatment to reduce symptoms.
Barostim is delivered by the Barostim NEO Generator, an implantable device that uses patented technology to send electrical pulses to baroreceptors located in the wall of the carotid artery. Baroreceptors trigger the body’s baroreflex, which in turn triggers an autonomic response from the heart. The therapy is designed to restore the balance of the autonomic nervous system and thus reduce the symptoms of heart failure.
Unlike other heart failure treatment options, Barostim does not affect the heart; instead, it uses an electrode that sits on the patient’s carotid artery. The electrical impulses sent by the neuromodulation device inform the brain of the state of the heart, allowing the brain to improve the functioning of the heart. Over time, the organ will regain strength as the symptoms of heart failure subside, allowing patients to resume normal activity. This unique technology is customizable to meet the individual therapeutic needs of each patient and has the potential to improve quality of life and reduce health risks associated with heart failure, including heart and kidney disease, accidents. cerebrovascular disease and death.
“As they age, people may mistakenly believe that they have to resign themselves to living with reduced mobility and a reduced ability to engage in normal activities of daily living,” added Dr. Adisey. “This new technology gives us more options to reverse an otherwise debilitating condition.”
Barostim, created by Minneapolis-based medical technology company CVRx, was named a breakthrough device technology by the FDA, received FDA PMA approval in 2019, and is now commercially available to reduce symptoms of heart failure in patients who are not indicated for cardiac resynchronization therapy. and have a left ventricular ejection fraction of 35% or less.
Barostim is also a beneficiary of the Transitional Interim Payment (TPT) status of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Complementary Payment for New Technologies for Inpatients (NTAP). The approval of TPT and NTAP for Barostim will help speed up access to treatment for the thousands of Medicare patients who still suffer from the effects of heart failure.