What is the CardioMEMS HF system?
The CardioMEMS HF System uses an implantable device to measure blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. This artery takes oxygenated blood from the lungs and sends it to the rest of your body. Pulmonary artery pressure has been shown to be a reliable indicator of worsening heart failure, so by monitoring your pulmonary artery blood pressure, your cardiologist can respond rapidly to subtle changes in your heart failure status.
CardioMEMS HF System can alert providers of possible problems in your heart even before you show outward symptoms of heart failure. This could keep you out of the hospital to better help you live your life.
What is pulmonary artery pressure monitoring?
Pulmonary artery (PA) pressure monitoring helps you and your doctor keep a closer eye on the progress of your heart failure treatment. By monitoring your PA pressure, your doctor may be able to detect worsening heart failure before you feel symptoms, such as shortness of breath or weight gain.
How can pulmonary artery pressure monitoring help me?
By monitoring pulmonary artery pressure, doctors can:
- Adjust your heart failure medications or other therapies before you develop serious symptoms, such as trouble breathing.
- Reduce your risk of rehospitalization due to heart failure.
- Improve your quality of life.
How does PA pressure monitoring work?
The PA pressure monitoring system uses a sensor to measure your pulmonary artery pressure and heart rate. The sensor is no larger than the size of a dime, with two thin loops at each end. The sensor is implanted in your pulmonary artery (the blood vessel that moves blood from your heart to your lungs). This technology involves having an electronic sensor as tiny as a paper clip implanted in your pulmonary artery.
After being implanted, the device can detect small changes in pressures (which can indicate worsening heart failure) and sends the data electronically to your cardiologist or electrophysiologist. This allows your doctor to make any needed adjustments to your treatment plan or medications. Patients whose clinicians used CardioMEMS actually had fewer hospitalizations than those patients who did not.
How is the procedure performed?
- It is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure.
- You may receive a mild sedative for the implantation.
- You will be constantly monitored by a nurse as the doctor inserts the device.
- Your cardiologist or electrophysiologist will insert a catheter into your femoral vein. Using an X-rays as a guide, the catheter is threaded through your vein to your heart and into your pulmonary artery. When the catheter is placed, the CardioMEMS device – the sensor – is released into your artery.
- Typically, after a few hours in the recovery room to monitor you, you may be able to return home.
- With only mild discomfort at the groin site, you should be able to return to normal activities soon.
How do patients transmit data to their cardiologist/electrophysiologist?
You will also receive an at-home monitor. Once a day, you’ll use it to take pressure readings of your artery. The information is wirelessly sent to your healthcare provider. It’s painless, and very simple. In fact, you’ll never feel the sensor. Healthcare providers will access your readings to help manage your care.
What is the recovery process after the CardioMEMS implant?
- You will likely be discharged the same day of procedure.
- You are able to walk within a few hours after the procedure.
- No heavy weight lifting/swimming for 1 week after the procedure.
- You can shower after the second day following the procedure.
Call the doctor if you have swelling, heat, or redness in the area, as these can be signs of infection.
CardioMEMS Discharge instructions
You will need a 1-2-week post-procedure follow-up appointment with us. Please call us at (602) 698-5820 to schedule this appointment if one was not made for you at the time of your discharge from the hospital.
What To Expect At Home
- Bruising of the trunk, groin and leg around the puncture site is normal and should resolve in a few days.
- You will be sent home with a bandage over the area which can typically be removed the day after the procedure.
- Shower as usual after the bandages are removed. You may gently wash the area with soap and water but do not scrub the puncture site.
- If you discontinued any medications pre-procedure, resume taking them unless told otherwise by your physician upon discharge from the hospital.
- Do not lift over 10 lbs. for 5 days post-procedure.
- You may resume physical activity after 1-2 days but avoid any strenuous activity such as exercise for 1 week post-procedure.
- Do not take a tub bath, Jacuzzi or swim for 7 days.
- Discuss with your physician prior to discharge about when it is appropriate for you to return to work.
Call If You Experience:
- Significant redness, heat, swelling, drainage or severe pain at your puncture site. If any bleeding occurs, hold direct pressure at the site with gauze or a band-aid. If the bleeding continues past 10 minutes, call your physician and seek immediate medical attention.
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher. A high temperature can be early signs of infection.