Information for the public

There is not much good evidence about how well this procedure works for temporary left ventricular haemodynamic support in high-risk percutaneous coronary interventions. This procedure can be used but only when patients have regular checks to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems. This is because of concerns about its long-term effects.

Some people having elective or urgent high-risk procedures to their heart arteries (percutaneous coronary intervention or coronary angioplasty) may need temporary support with circulatory blood flow support devices before or during their procedure to maintain blood flow and reduce the risk of their heart and circulation failing during the operation. In this procedure, a catheter (small tube) integrated with a small pump in the end is put into the left side of the heart (left ventricle) through a large artery (usually in the groin or under the collarbone). The aim is to support the patient’s circulatory system, reduce the stress on the heart muscles and help the heart pump blood round the body during the procedure on the heart.

NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-3169-9

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