The heart of a 67-year-old patient is working more efficiently these days thanks to the cardiac team at Cooper University Health Care and a “cutting-edge treatment option.”
On March 29, the Camden-based health care provider said Dr. Joseph Lombardi, head of the Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, was the first in the South Jersey and Philadelphia area to perform a successful implant of the Barostim Baroreflex Activation Therapy.
The technology is the first heart failure device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to use neuromodulation – the power of the brain and nervous system – to improve the symptoms of patients with systolic heart failure.
Dr. Ketan Gala, a clinical cardiologist, medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Cooper and member provider of Cooper and Inspira Cardiac Care, said the team was excited to offer this “cutting-edge treatment option.”
“Barostim has the capability to help reduce heart failure symptoms and improve quality of life. This device offers something for patients who otherwise have limited options, or in some case have no other options,” explained Dr. Ketan Gala, clinical cardiologist and medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at Cooper, and member provider of Cooper and Inspira Cardiac Care.
Barostim contains no hardware in the heart or vascular system, which differentiates it from other heart failure device therapies. It electrically stimulates the natural sensors in the wall of the carotid artery that tell the nervous system how to regulate heart, kidney and vascular function. This method helps reduce the heart’s workload and pump more efficiently.
According to the FDA, which approved the system in August 2019, “Patients receiving the implant showed improvements in the distance they were able to walk in six-minute walking tests and improvements in how symptoms impacted their quality of life.”
Heart failure – which is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen – is estimated to affect 6.9 million adults in the U.S. and is expected to increase by 24% to nearly 8.5 million by 2030, Cooper stated.