LAFAYETTE- Dr. Louis Salvaggio was the first in the Lafayette region to perform a coronary intervention with the Impella heart pump through a new access point in the axillary artery, located near the underarm. Dr. Ankur Lodha also assisted with this minimally-invasive procedure, which took place on March 13 at the cath lab at Lafayette General Health.
Impella, the world’s smallest heart pump, temporarily assists with the pumping function of a heart during a high-risk coronary intervention. The difference in this procedure however is the new access point in the arm as opposed to the groin. It is estimated that less than one percent of interventional cardiologists have developed the meticulous skills set to use this new access point.
“Impella is traditionally placed via the femoral artery of the groin, but due to peripheral artery disease, this can be difficult or impossible in some patients,” explained Dr. Salvaggio. “This innovative technique offers a new and safe option for high-risk patients who need it and can benefit from it.”