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Intra-aortic balloon pump

An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a device to help decrease the workload of the heart and increase blood flow to the heart and the rest of the body. A balloon is attached to the end of a catheter and threaded up into the aorta, the main artery leaving the heart. Here, it is inflated and deflated in a regular sequence synchronized to a person's heart rhythm to provide the needed pressure to circulate blood.

An intra-aortic balloon pump is only used temporarily for emergency cardiac support conditions, such as after a heart attack, for severe heart failure, or while someone is waiting for heart surgery.

Recommended Related to Heart Disease

Women and Heart Disease: Key Facts You Need to Know

Which one of the following statements is true?  Each year, heart disease claims the lives of more women then breast cancer and lung cancer combined. A greater percentage of women die within one year of a heart attack than men. The death rate of African-American women due to cardiovascular disease is greater than white women.  Diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease. The answer: All of them. And experts say they represent only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the facts...

Read the Women and Heart Disease: Key Facts You Need to Know article > >

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
Last Revised February 12, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 12, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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