Hackensack University Medical Center Cardiac Surgeons Become First in World to Implant FDA-Approved Impella RP Flex Heart Pump in Human Patient


Newswise — HACKENSACK, NJ – Hackensack Meridian Hackensack University Medical Center cardiac surgeons Mark Anderson, M.D., chairman of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, and Yuriy Dudiy, M.D., became the first surgeons in the world to implant the recently FDA-approved Impella RP® Flex with SmartAssist® in a human patient, November 8, 2022. This first-in-human heart pump implantation was performed to treat right heart failure during a minimally invasive valve replacement procedure. The patient, a 71 year old woman, is doing well and is expected to be released from the hospital soon. 

Impella RP Flex received FDA pre-market approval as being safe and effective to treat acute right heart failure for up to 14 days. It is implanted via the internal jugular vein, which enables patient mobility, and has dual-sensor technology that helps optimize pump management. Impella RP Flex is placed in the heart using a catheter inserted through a small incision in the patient’s neck and pumps blood from the superior vena cava to the pulmonary artery. 

Impella RP Flex is used to treat right heart failure or decompensation following left ventricular assist device implantation, myocardial infarction, heart transplant, or open-heart surgery. 

“Impella RP Flex is a next-generation heart pump technology that can provide temporary right ventricular support for patients who experience right heart failure, allowing the heart to rest and recover,” said Dr. Anderson, who was involved in the initial research for Abiomed’s first right support device, Impella RP, for patients with right ventricular failure requiring short-term hemodynamic support.

“This technology is game-changing, because it provides cardiac surgeons with a new, minimally invasive alternative to surgically implanted right heart support devices that require opening the chest during an invasive sternotomy.”

“Our early adoption of Impella RP Flex demonstrates that our cardiovascular team is at the forefront of using the latest technology to provide minimally invasive cardiovascular care, which improves patient access, outcomes and experience,” said Robert C. Garrett, FACHE, chief executive officer of Hackensack Meridian Health.

“When patients come to Hackensack University Medical Center for cardiovascular care, they have access to some of the world’s most innovative technology,” said Mark Sparta, FACHE, president and chief hospital executive, Hackensack University Medical Center. “Placed in the hands of our expert surgeons, technology such as Impella RP Flex is used to deliver life-saving care — often without the need for an open surgical procedure.”

For information about services, visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org/services/cardiovascular/.  To schedule a CT Calcium Scoring scan, which provides early detection of heart attack risk, or for a free physician referral, call 844-HMH-WELL.



Hackensack University Medical Center, a 781-bed nonprofit teaching and research hospital, was Bergen County’s first hospital founded in 1888. It was also the first hospital in New Jersey and second in the nation to become a Magnet®-recognized hospital for nursing excellence, receiving its sixth consecutive designation from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The academic flagship of the Hackensack Meridian Health network, Hackensack University Medical Center is Nationally-Ranked by U.S. News & World Report 2022-2023 in four specialties, more than any other hospital in New Jersey. The hospital is home to the state’s only nationally-ranked Urology and Neurology & Neurosurgery programs, as well as the best Cardiology & Heart Surgery program. It also offers patients nationally-ranked Orthopedic care and one of the state’s premier Cancer Centers (John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center). Hackensack University Medical Center also ranked as High-Performing in conditions such as Acute Kidney Failure, Heart Attack (AMI), Heart Failure, Pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Diabetes and Stroke. As well as High Performing in procedures like Aortic Valve Surgery, Heart Bypass Surgery (CABG), Colon Cancer Surgery, Lung Cancer Surgery, Prostate Cancer Surgery, Hip Replacement and Knee Replacement. This award-winning care is provided on a campus that is home to facilities such as the Heart & Vascular Hospital; and the Sarkis and Siran Gabrellian Women’s and Children’s Pavilion, which houses the Donna A. Sanzari Women’s Hospital and the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital, ranked #1 in the state and top 20 in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Additionally, the children’s nephrology program ranks in the top 50 in the United States. Hackensack University Medical Center is also home to the Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center and is listed on the Green Guide’s list of Top 10 Green Hospitals in the U.S. Our comprehensive clinical research portfolio includes studies focused on precision medicine, translational medicine, immunotherapy, cell therapy, and vaccine development. The hospital has embarked on the largest healthcare expansion project ever approved by the state: Construction of the Helena Theurer Pavilion, a 530,000-sq.-ft., nine-story building, which began in 2019. A $714.2 million endeavor, the pavilion is one the largest healthcare capital projects in New Jersey and will house 24 state-of-the-art operating rooms with intraoperative MRI capability, 50 ICU beds, and 175 medical/surgical beds including a 50 room Musculoskeletal Institute. 


Hackensack Meridian Health is a leading not-for-profit health care organization that is the largest, most comprehensive and truly integrated health care network in New Jersey, offering a complete range of medical services, innovative research and life-enhancing care. The network has 18 hospitals and more than 500 patient care locations, which include ambulatory care centers, surgery centers, home health services, long-term care and assisted living communities, ambulance services, lifesaving air medical transportation, rehabilitation centers, urgent care centers, physician practice locations, and a fitness and wellness center. With more than 35,000 team members and 7,000 physicians, Hackensack Meridian Health is a distinguished leader in health care philanthropy and committed to the health and well-being of communities throughout New Jersey. 

The network’s notable distinctions include having more U.S. News-ranked hospitals than any other health system in New Jersey, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, 2022-23. Hackensack University Medical Center is nationally-ranked by U.S. News & World Report in four specialties, more than any other hospital in New Jersey. Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, are ranked #1 in the state and top 20 in the Mid-Atlantic Region by U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report. Additionally, their combined nephrology program ranks in the top 50 in the United States. To learn more, visit www.hackensackmeridianhealth.org


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