Intra-aortic Balloon Counterpulsation Pump


What is an intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation pump? An intra-aortic balloon counterpulsation pump (IABP) is a device that is used for a short time to help your heart work normally. The pump has a flexible, inflatable catheter (thin tube) with a balloon on its end. It also has a gas container and a device that inflates (fills) and deflates (empties) the balloon. Monitors that show how the heart is working may be connected to the pump. The IABP allows more blood to flow into your heart and more blood to be pumped out to your body.

Why may I need an IABP? You may need an IABP if you have severe heart failure or other heart problems. An IABP may also be used to support your heart before you have heart surgery, such as coronary artery bypass graft or angioplasty. The IABP may also be used to monitor pressure changes inside your aorta before the surgery. The aorta is a large blood vessel that carries blood from your heart to your body. The IABP may also be used to help your heart work after you have heart surgery.

How is the IABP inserted?

How does the IABP work?

When should I contact my caregiver?

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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