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SGMC Performs First Impella Procedure

Posted on: June 28th, 2023
Members of SGMC’s Cardiac Cath Team Brandy Fernandez, Marcus Rowan, Kelsey Smith, Latoya Williams, Jai Stewart, Dr. Edward Distler, Heather Jones, and Dr. Daryoosh Derakhshan celebrate performing the first Impella CP® with SmartAssist at SGMC

South Georgia Medical Center recently performed the hospital’s first procedure using Impella CP® with SmartAssist, the world’s smallest heart pump. 

Designed to provide minimally invasive, temporary support for patients with heart failure, this transformative technology allows interventional cardiologists at SGMC to provide more comprehensive care options to patients with advanced coronary disease. 

The first procedure was performed by Interventional Cardiologist Dr. Edward Distler, assisted by Dr. Luke Seibolt and Dr. Daryoosh Derakhshan.  

The Impella CP® heart pump is the only implanted temporary ventricular support device that is FDA-approved as safe and effective for cardiogenic shock and high-risk PCI. The pump stabilizes the patient’s blood flow, unloads the left ventricle, and allows for native heart recovery. 

According to Dr. Distler, “The device not only offers a lifeline to patients who may otherwise have limited treatment options, but it also allows us to pursue more aggressive interventions with greater confidence. By maintaining stable hemodynamics and improving cardiac output, this technology has revolutionized our approach to complex cardiovascular cases, leading to improved outcomes and renewed hope for patients and their families.” 

Additional patient benefits include a quicker recovery process and decreased likelihood of repeat procedures and multiple hospital stays. 

According to Dr. Distler, acquiring this new technology supports SGMC’s commitment to providing patients in the region with comprehensive treatment options for heart failure and assisted high-risk interventions. 

SGMC has the region’s only open-heart program, structural heart center, and electrophysiology program. To learn more about SGMC’s heart and vascular programs, visit sgmc.org.