New technology is allowing doctors to treat heart failure patients with worsening symptoms before they appear physically sicker, giving patients a better quality of life.
"I couldn't believe that little implant was going to do anything," 77-year-old heart failure patient Anne Buchanan said.
Buchanan had a sensor placed in her lung artery during a catheter procedure. The device now transmits data to her cardiologist at Mission Heart Center in Asheville.
"It allows us real-time information on what the pressures are in the lungs, which reflects, essentially, what the pressures are in the heart," explained Dr. Ben Trichon, a Mission Heart Center cardiologist.
"When my numbers go up, they call me me and say, 'You're too high,' and they will make an adjustment on my medicine," Buchanan said.
"The goal of using this information is to minimize unnecessary hospital admissions and re-admissions," Trichon added.
"Before I got this, I was in the hospital about every six to eight weeks," Buchanan said. "It was three, four, five days at a time."
Now, she is staying well, enjoying a better quality of life, and potentially an increased quantity of life. That's because, in part, of the CardioMEMS device.
The electronic monitoring also prevents Buchanan from making several back and forth trips to Asheville from Morganton.