An intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) is a mechanical device that helps the heart pump blood.
This device is inserted into the aorta, the body's largest artery. It is a long, thin tube called a catheter with a balloon on the end of it. If you are hospitalized, your doctor may insert an IABP. Your doctor will numb an area of your leg and thread the IABP through the femoral artery in your leg into your aorta. He or she then positions the IABP at the center of your aorta, below your heart.
The doctor will use an X-ray machine during this procedure to help accurately position the IABP.
Why is it used?
An IABP might be used to stabilize a person who is in the hospital for acute mitral valve regurgitation or severe heart failure.
An IABP is only used for a short period of time (hours to days). A long-term treatment will likely be needed, such as valve surgery or the insertion of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).