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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 6 million U.S. adults have heart failure, a condition that develops when the heart cannot pump enough blood and oxygen to support other organs in the body. And although there is no cure for it, lifestyle changes and treatments—including medications and devices—can improve heart failure symptoms and extend lives.
Still, not all people with heart failure are eligible for traditional therapies. And some people fail to respond to recommended and available treatments and medications. But thanks to a new and innovative device first studied and now offered at AdventHealth Tampa, we’re bringing new hope.
The Optimizer Smart Mini CCM Delivery System, manufactured by Impulse Dynamics, is a minimally invasive, implantable device that delivers precisely timed electrical pulses to the heart muscle. CCM stands for cardiac contractility modulation, and this therapy is the newest type of heart failure treatment.
“About 20 years ago, a device was brought to market providing CRT, or cardiac resynchronization therapy,” says Alejandro Michel, MD, an interventional cardiologist with AdventHealth Tampa. “CRT works to enhance left ventricular function and can improve symptoms and survival. But this therapy is limited to patients with a certain wave pattern on an electrocardiogram, and many patients with heart failure and its associated symptoms don’t qualify for it.”
“CCM, on the other hand, delivers an electrical impulse at just the right time to create more forceful heart contractions,” says Dr. Michel. “The effects of CCM are immediate. But there are also additional improvements over time as the therapy works to change heart muscle cells—what we refer to as ‘remodeling.’”
What patients can expect during and after CCM implantation
A CCM device is implanted under the skin using a small incision, typically on the right side of the chest. The device has two wires called leads, and doctors connect them to the heart by guiding them through a vein.
CCM implantation takes less than an hour and doesn’t require general anesthesia. However, many patients will stay overnight in the hospital for observation.
The Optimizer Smart Mini CCM Delivery System operates on a rechargeable battery. Patients charge the battery weekly for one hour by placing the charger atop the skin over the device.
“I’m very excited about this technology,” says Dr. Michel, who implanted the first Optimizer Smart Mini CCM Delivery System in West Florida. “I recently spoke with my first patient, who was implanted just over a month ago. He’s now working full-time and climbing up to two flights of stairs without stopping.
“This device will significantly impact our patients and their quality of life. And I’m thrilled that we can now offer it here at AdventHealth Tampa.”