When it comes to physical activity, patients with advanced heart failure have limitations. They often experience fatigue, palpitation or shortness of breath. Barostim is used to improve these symptoms in patients with advanced heart failure, particularly those who are not suited for treatment with other heart failure devices. It is the only heart failure device therapy that does not require any hardware in your heart or blood vessels.
Barostim is a pacemaker-like device designed to stimulate baroreceptors – natural sensors in your body that tell your brain how to control your heart, kidneys and blood vessels.
In heart failure patients, baroreceptors tell the brain to release a high amount of stress related hormones, in hopes of improving heart function. These hormones make a weak heart work too hard, leading to an onset or worsening of heart failure symptoms. Barostim interrupts this process by stimulating baroreceptors to tell the brain to reduce the amount of stress-hormones in the body. These effects relax the heart and blood vessels, allow the heart to work more efficiently, and relieve heart failure symptoms.
Patients may be eligible for the Barostim implant if they:
The Barostim procedure takes place at the Summa Health System – Akron Campus. The Barostim is implanted below the collar bone and connected to a lead that attaches to the carotid artery in the neck. After the device is implanted, a physician tests and programs the device.
The procedure typically takes less than an hour and patients may go home the same day. Once implanted, you'll only need to visit your doctor for routine check-ups. During these follow-ups, your doctor will ensure the device settings are optimized to best improve your heart failure symptoms.
Risks associated with the surgical implant procedure are similar to those from implanting a pacemaker. Patients implanted with the device are anticipated to be exposed to operative and post-operative risk similar to related surgical procedures involving the neck and chest.
To learn more about the risks, benefits and expectations associated with the Barostim implant, schedule an appointment with the Summa Health Heart Failure Team at 330.375.3211.