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health as it happens

Baptist Health first in region to offer new heart failure treatment - Ponte Vedra Recorder

Baptist Health is the first health care system in the region to implant an innovative, pacemaker-like device to improve cardiovascular function in advanced heart failure patients.

Heart failure, which happens when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in the body, impacts about 6.2 million adults in the United States.

The BAROSTIM NEO System is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved electrical stimulator. The device is implanted under the collarbone with a lead going up to the carotid artery, where it stimulates the heart’s natural blood pressure sensors. These sensors, called baroreceptors, detect the blood pressure and send the information to the brain. The brain responds by allowing proper blood pressure to be maintained via relaxing blood vessels, slowing the heart rate and reducing fluid in the body through improved kidney functioning.

This summer, implant of the device took place at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, followed by three other procedures on the same day.

The lead vascular surgeon performing the procedure, Erin Moore, MD, physician with Cardiothoracic Vascular Surgical Associates PA, was joined by Baptist Heart Specialists’ clinical cardiac electrophysiologists Christopher Austin, MD and Aaditya Vora, MD.

The device’s placement requires a minimally invasive procedure under general anesthesia and can be done as an outpatient procedure. The patients usually go home the same day or the next day.