BioVentrix called its new procedure LIVE™ to help you remember the name. The first two letters of LIVE stand for “less invasive,” which means that unlike conventional surgical reconstruction, your doctor does not place incisions into the heart muscle in order to reshape it. The words “Ventricular Enhancement” simply mean that the heart’s major pumping chamber, the left ventricle, pumps blood more efficiently after the LIVE procedure. This boost in efficiency is the major reason LIVE improves quality of life for heart failure patients.
The LIVE procedure is an innovative, new procedure designed to reshape the left ventricle and restore it to its more native shape. It is based upon a well-defined law of physics (the Law of Laplace), which describes how the shape and pressure inside of the left ventricle can affect the stress placed on it. Heart failure symptoms worsen as the stress on the left ventricle increases, and the only way to stop the progression of heart failure is to reduce the stress on the left ventricle. The LIVE procedure and the Revivent™ Myocardial Anchoring System are uniquely designed to reduce this wall stress by reshaping the left ventricle to reduce its size, which in turn decreases wall stress and interrupts the ongoing destructive process of ischemic heart failure.
The Revivent System is comprised of two small anchors made of titanium. The external anchor is placed on the outside of the heart, and the internal anchor is placed in the right side of the heart, up against the wall that divides the left and right ventricles. Depending upon the size of your scar, four to seven anchors will be placed. Once the anchors are in position, your doctor gently pulls them towards each other to bring sections of the heart wall together, excluding the non-functioning or scarred part of the heart muscle, and allowing only healthy tissue to pump the blood you need. Elimination of the non-functioning part of the heart allows the remaining healthy tissue to beat more effectively.
The LIVE procedure is designed to improve the quality of life for patients suffering from Class II-IV heart failure as designated by the New York Heart Association. In a recent study, patients that underwent the LIVE procedure showed significant clinical improvement in six clinically validated measures including: the six minute walk test, self-reported quality-of-life score, and the classification of the severity of their heart failure as determined by the New York Heart Association criteria.
The LIVE procedure also provides procedural benefits. Your doctor no longer has to use a heart-lung machine to circulate your blood, as the procedure can be done on a beating heart. And the design of the Revivent System reduces the size of your left ventricle without using incisions. Currently under development is an advancement called the Revivent TC™ Ventricular Enhancement system, which further reduces the invasiveness of the LIVE procedure by allowing your physician to place the small anchors in your heart without even opening our chest. This is called a transcatheter procedure.