Harlingen – He is feeling well and enjoying the company of his family today. But, Guadalupe
Hernandez, 88, of Santa Rosa, was not always doing that well. The husband,
father and grandfather was experiencing chest pain and other symptoms
that come with Coronary Artery Disease (CAD). His age and medical condition
did not make him an ideal candidate for open heart surgery, but, it did
make him an ideal candidate for the Impella® 2.5 Catheter, the world's
smallest heart pump, available at Harlingen Medical Center, one of the
leading heart hospitals in South Texas.
"I am very grateful that this [cardiac procedure] was available here,
near our home," said Cristina Hernandez, daughter of Mr. Hernandez.
"From what I understand this is a highly advanced procedure and I
was not aware that this was available in Harlingen. But, I'm glad
to now know that it is and it can help people, like my father."
Mr. Hernandez was the first patient in Cameron County to reap the benefits
of the Impella® 2.5 Catheter. He had a weak heart and had blockages
in two arteries; one in the front of the heart and another in the back
of the heart. He required the implementation of two promus premiere drug
eluding stents. But, first, he had to have his heart stabilized so that
it was able to function properly. And, that's where the Impella came
in to assist.
The medical state in which Hernandez found himself was not prime condition
for a patient to undergo open heart surgery. The risks were too high.
According Abiomed, Inc., the Impella® 2.5 Catheter is an intravascular
microaxial blood pump that is designed to support a patient's circulatory
system, or blood flow, when the heart is too weak or damaged to function
properly on its own. The heart pump replicates the natural function of
the heart by creating a vortex, moving blood from the heart and out into
the rest of the body, thus creating an increased cardiac output.
The Impella® 2.5 Catheter, also called a Left Ventricular Assist Device
(LVAD), is housed inside a catheter which is inserted through an artery
in the leg, moved up toward the chest, and placed inside the left chamber
of the heart within a few minutes.
Once the Impella® 2.5 Catheter was placed in Mr. Hernandez' heart,
his blood pressure was stabilized, giving his heart support with the pump
allowing his care to move forward with a high-risk, complex angioplasty.
The heart pump allowed the drug-coated stents to be inserted into the
two blocked arteries, which then allowed for blood circulation in and
out of his heart - helping Mr. Hernandez avoid open heart surgery all together.
Once it was established that the circulation of blood through the treated
arteries was rectified, the Impella® 2.5 Catheter was removed.
"I felt good," said Mr. Hernandez when asked about how he felt
after the procedure. "I am very grateful to Dr. Eduardo Flores for
not only improving my life, but for probably saving my life too. I am
About The Cardiovascular Center at HMC
The Cardiovascular Center at Harlingen Medical Center is paving the way
for progressive treatment of cardiac patients. The award-winning and nationally
recognized hospital specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular
disease. It features a top-ranked heart team that provides minimally-invasive
diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as advanced cardiac and vascular
interventions, such as angioplasty, stenting, cardiac ablation, open heart
surgery, minimally invasive heart valve repair and replacement, and coronary
artery bypass graft.
To learn more about Harlingen Medical Center, log on to
National Heart Month Observed at HMC
February is National Heart Month and Harlingen Medical Center will showcase
several events that will offer health and wellness education for the general
public. Every Wednesday, in February, the hospital will host its highly
anticipated Heart Doc Talk Lectures at 6:00 p.m. in the Medical Office
Building (MOB) Conference Room. It will host its Annual Healthy Heart
Expo on Friday, February 5, 2016 at 8:00 a.m., in the hospital's Main
Lobby. And, every Friday, HMC will offer its Stroke Prevention –
Vascular Screening's at the Radiology and Imaging Department. To learn
more about any of these events, contact the Business Development and Marketing
Department at (956) 365-1848.