Healing heart failure


Almost 6 million Americans have heart failure. Now, there’s a new implantable device designed to help bring the system back into balance.

Eric Berkowitz likes to end his workday by taking Bobo for a walk. It’s something he couldn’t do just a few months ago.

Deborah Berkowitz, Eric’s wife said, “He sat right here in that recliner and never came out of it. He slept in this chair. He could not go up the stairs.”

11 years ago, at age 42, Eric had a heart attack. Then another.

Doctors tried stents, a double bypass, and a pacemaker to keep his heart-healthy, but he still struggled with heart failure.

Nirav Raval, MD, Thoracic Medical Director Adventhealth Transplant Institute said, “Heart failure means the heart’s not really pumping enough blood to supply the needs of the body.”

Doctor Nirav Raval studied the effectiveness of the Barostim Neo. It’s implanted just under the skin, and a lead wire delivers pulses to the carotid artery in the neck.

“It kinda just lies over the top stimulating this group of cells called baroreceptors and those change the fight or flight response basically bring balance to it,” said Doctor Raval.

And 2 years ago, doctors implanted a Barostim opposite Eric’s pacemaker. It helps adjust his blood pressure. Eric says even though he feels better than ever Bobo senses he’s been sick and won’t leave his side.

Eric said, “Since I have the device, I can walk a two-mile track with him and not be panting. He pants more than I do.”

New technology and Bobo are putting Eric on the path to better health.

The FDA approved Barostim in august, after the conclusion of a phase three clinical trial.

The Barostim is for use in patients older than 21 who have advancing symptoms and are not responding to heart failure medication.

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