An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a device that can support the heart. It is a short-term tool that can increase the amount of blood for the heart. It also makes it easier to pump blood out to the body. The balloon sits in the aorta, a large artery that carries blood away from the heart.
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An IABP is used to:
IABP may be needed with:
Your doctor will review problems that could happen with IABP such as:
Factors that can increase your risk of complications include:
Before your procedure, talk to your doctor about ways to manage these factors.
Test results from previous care will be reviewed. New tests may be done to make sure IABP is right for you.
Leading up to the procedure:
The insertion site will be numbed with medicine. You may also be given a sedative. It will help you relax.
An artery in the groin or arm will be chosen. A medicine will be injected into the area to make it numb.
A small tube will be inserted into the artery and passed up to the heart. A machine will show the progress of the tube on a screen. The doctor will watch the screen to put the balloon in the correct place. A dye may be injected through the tube. This will better highlight the blood vessels on the screen.
The tube will be passed until it reaches the aorta, near the heart. The balloon is then passed through the tube and put in place. The tube will be stitched at the leg or arm. This will help to keep it stable. A bandage is placed over the insertion site.
The outer end of the tube is connected to a bedside machine. This machine will inflate and deflate the balloon. It will be set to work in rhythm with the heart. When the heart relaxes, the balloon inflates. This will push blood into the heart and increase flow to the heart muscle. When the heart begins to squeeze, the balloon deflates. This will allow blood to pass out to the rest of the body.
You will be taken to a recovery room. The care team will monitor blood pressure, heart beat, and other factors.
About 30 minutes
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. The insertion area can be uncomfortable after the procedure. It can be managed with medicine.
You will feel the inflation and deflation of balloon.
The length of stay will depend on overall health.
At the Hospital
Right after the procedure, you will be in the cardiac intensive care unit. Your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing will be monitored.
Recovery may also include:
During your stay, the hospital staff will take steps to reduce your chance of infection, such as:
There are also steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection such as:
You will be in the hospital with IABP. You will be monitored by the medical team for any complications.
American Heart Association
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
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How is cardiogenic shock treated? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/shock/treatment. Accessed September 14, 2020.
Intra-aortic balloon pump. Cooper University Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cooperhealth.org/treatments/intra-aortic-balloon-pump. Accessed September 14, 2020.
Intra-aortic balloon pump. Texas Heart Institute website. Available at: http://www.texasheart.org/Research/Devices/iabp.cfm. Accessed September 14, 2020.
Richards S, Schub T. Intra-aortic balloon pump: Overview of patient management. EBSCO Nursing Reference Center website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/nursing/products/nursing-reference-center. Accessed September 14, 2020.
Last reviewed September 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael J. Fucci, DO, FACC Last Updated: 9/15/2020