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Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump (IABP)

Clinical Heart and Vascular Center

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s experienced cardiologists implant an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) to treat patients whose hearts need help pumping blood.

Our heart doctors use IABPs to temporarily treat a number of heart conditions that reduce blood flow through the coronary arteries and cause the heart to work too hard.

Minimally Invasive Help for the Heart

An intra-aortic balloon pump is a short-term catheter solution to help the heart pump blood. IABPs are used to increase blood flow through the coronary arteries and reduce the heart’s workload by decreasing the afterload.

Implanted with a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure, an IABP is placed in the part of the aorta that runs through the chest (thoracic aorta).

Heart Conditions We Treat

Intra-aortic balloon pumps can be used to treat people with conditions such as:

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump: What to Expect

The surgeon begins by giving the patient heparin, a drug that thins the blood and prevents clots during the procedure. After prepping the skin, the surgeon collapses a tiny balloon.

The surgeon then inserts a needle into the femoral artery and passes a guidewire through the needle into the thoracic aorta. A sheath is then passed over the wire to the thoracic aorta.

The balloon is passed through the needle and then through the sheath into the thoracic aorta and inflated one centimeter distal to the left subclavian artery. The position is confirmed by chest X-ray or fluoroscopy.

The wire is then removed, and the central lumen is hooked to a transducer to monitor the pressure within the aorta. The balloon pump timing settings are then set.  

Support Services

UT Southwestern’s cardiac rehabilitation specialists create customized plans that integrate proper nutrition, exercise, and, if necessary, nicotine cessation into patients’ lifestyles to improve their cardiovascular health.

Clinical Trials

 As one of the nation’s top academic medical centers, UT Southwestern offers a number of clinical trials aimed at improving the outcomes of patients with cardiovascular disease.

Clinical trials often give patients access to leading-edge treatments that are not yet widely available. Eligible patients who choose to participate in one of UT Southwestern’s clinical trials might receive treatments years before they are available to the public.

Related Conditions and Treatments

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