Jean Marie Ruddy, MD, Vascular surgeon with clinical interests in lower extremity venous insufficiency and atherosclerotic disease of the abdominal aorta, carotid artery, and extremity vessels at Medical University of South Carolina. Anne Kroman DO, PhD, Cardiac Electrophysiologist at Medical University of South Carolina. Ryan Tedford, MD, Dr. Peter C. Gazes Endowed Chair in Heart Failure; Professor of Medicine at Medical University of South Carolina; Chief, Heart Failure; Medical Director, Cardiac Transplantation; Director, AHFTX Fellowship Program. In this video, she and her colleagues speak about the article MUSC doctors first at academic medical center to perform ‘game-changing’ new heart failure device procedure.
Two MUSC Health doctors are the first at an academic medical center and just the second in the world to employ a new, minimally invasive procedure to implant a heart failure therapy device – and, in an unusual turn of events, they're both women in traditionally male-dominated specialties.
Jean Marie Ruddy, M.D., a vascular surgeon, is the lead investigator at the MUSC site for the testing of this innovative implantation procedure for Barostim. Anne Kroman, D.O., Ph.D., a cardiac electrophysiologist, is the site co-principal investigator for the BATwire percutaneous implant research employing the Barostim Neo System.
Following successful trials headed by MUSC Health cardiologist Michael Zile, M.D., Barostim received breakthrough device approval from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2019. The device stimulates the nerve that regulates blood pressure with electrical impulses, causing the blood arteries to relax.
Although the gadget cannot cure heart failure, it can significantly enhance patients' quality of life. According to cardiologist Ryan Tedford, M.D., section chief of heart failure, medical director of cardiac transplantation, and professor in the College of Medicine, it's intended for patients who aren't getting enough benefit from medication but aren't sick enough for a heart pump or heart transplant.
On Thursday, his patient became the first at MUSC Health to undergo the innovative type of implantation.
To insert the electrode, the first method of implantation required a vascular surgeon to create an incision in the patient's neck. However, in a "engineering achievement," the new approach being investigated would allow the device to be implanted through a wire, according to Ruddy. Kroman explained that it is comparable to how pacemaker wires are now implanted.
Instead, the surgeons used ultrasound to locate the region of the blood vessel where the proper nerve is located, then advanced a needle into place to guide the wire through. The whole thing took around an hour and a half. Although it is believed that this will become an outpatient treatment, participants must be hospitalized overnight for the duration of the experiment.
Patients who have already had the device implanted have reported an improvement in their quality of life, according to Ruddy and Kroman. Patients are typically short of breath before the treatment, even while walking about, and may have given up cherished activities – Ruddy noted one patient who was eager to return to fishing.
According to Tedford, there are a substantial number of people who could benefit from this type of treatment, either because they aren't sick enough for more serious procedures or because they don't match the criteria for those surgeries.