What conditions is an IABP used to treat?
Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) therapy can be used to treat cardiogenic shock, which is when your heart can’t pump enough blood to meet the needs of your body. Some heart problems that can cause cardiogenic shock include heart failure, acute mitral regurgitation, heart attack, unstable angina, and blocked arteries.
What is intra-aortic balloon pump therapy?
An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a type of therapeutic device. It helps your heart pump more blood. You may need it if your heart is unable to pump enough blood for your body.
The IABP consists of a thin, flexible tube called a catheter. Attached to the tip of the catheter is a long balloon. This is called an intra-aortic balloon, or IAB. The other end of the catheter attaches to a computer console. This console has a mechanism for inflating and deflating the balloon at the proper time when your heart beats.
An IABP allows blood to flow more easily into your coronary arteries, the blood vessels on the outer walls of the heart that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the heart. It also helps your heart pump more blood with each contraction. The balloon is inserted into your aorta, which is the very large artery leaving your heart. In many cases, this procedure is done through a small cut on the inside of your upper leg. The balloon pump catheter is inserted into an artery in your leg and then guided to your aorta.
From there, the IABP can start to do its work. The balloon is set to inflate when the heart relaxes. It pushes blood flow back toward the coronary arteries. When the heart contracts, the balloon deflates. That allows the heart to pump more blood out to the body while using less energy. The device continues to inflate and deflate until it is removed.