Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump

An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a device placed in the thoracic aorta to increase coronary artery blood flow and reduce the workload on the heart by decreasing the afterload.

It is used on patients with heart failure, acute mitral regurgitation, unstable angina, and those undergoing angioplasty.

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump Procedure

The surgeon will begin by giving you heparin to thin the blood and prevent blood clots during the procedure. After prepping the skin, the surgeon will collapse the balloon.

The surgeon will then insert a needle into the femoral artery and pass a guidewire through the needle into the thoracic aorta. Then, a sheath will be passed over the wire to the thoracic aorta.

The balloon is passed through the needle and then through the sheath into the thoracic aorta and deployed 1 centimeter distal to the left subclavian artery. This is confirmed either by chest X-ray or fluoroscopy.

The wire is then removed, and the central lumen is hooked to a transducer to monitor the pressure within the aorta. The balloon pump timing settings are then set.  

Intra-Aortic Balloon Pump Complications

Complications from intra-aortic balloon pumps include:

  • Decreased blood flow through the leg
  • Embolization of clots
  • Failure to put pump in due to atherosclerotic disease
  • Hematoma

Request an Appointment

To schedule an appointment with an intra-aortic balloon pump expert at UT Southwestern's facilities in Dallas or for more information about our services, request an appointment or call 214-645-8300.