Skip to content
January 19, 2023

TriHealth is First to Harnesses Brain, Nervous System to Treat Heart Failure Symptoms

TriHealth is First to Harnesses Brain, Nervous System to Treat Heart Failure Symptoms

TriHealth, a leading Cincinnati-based integrated health system, is the first area healthcare facility to perform a successful implant of Barostim™ Baroreflex Activation Therapy, the world’s first FDA- approved heart failure device to use neuromodulation – the power of the brain and nervous system – to improve the symptoms of patients with systolic heart failure. This therapy was designed to treat heart failure patients who may not be receiving adequate symptom relief from medications alone.

The procedure took place January 13 at TriHealth’s Bethesda North Hospital and was performed by Vascular Surgeon Aaron Kulwicki, M.D. The advanced heart failure team, under the direction of TriHealth Advanced Heart Failure and Transplant Cardiologist Sateesh Kesari MD, assists with identifying patients, evaluations and all patient follow-up for the Barostim device.

“The advanced heart failure team, at the Bethesda North Thomas Center, manages patients throughout the continuum of their HF life,” Kesari said. “This ranges from HF prevention to end stage HF requiring left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) and cardiac transplant. Until now, patients who were refractory to medical therapy but not ill enough to require a LVAD or cardiac transplant had to suffer with persistent HF symptoms. Barostim neuromodulation gives thousands of patients the hope of improved quality of life with the best and most up-to-date medical technology in the region.”

Unlike other heart failure device therapies, Barostim contains no hardware in the heart or vasculature. It works by electrically stimulating baroreceptors – natural sensors located in the wall of the carotid artery – that tell the nervous system how to regulate heart, kidney, and vascular function. These effects reduce the heart’s workload and help it pump more efficiently, helping to restore balance to the autonomic nervous system and improve the symptoms of heart failure. Barostim plus heart failure medications has been shown to improve exercise capacity, quality of life and NYHA class, helping patients return to their daily activities.

TriHealth has committed to developing the region’s destination heart and vascular program. This strategy included the 2019 consolidation of TriHealth’s heart surgery programs to the Bethesda North campus, which has resulted in greater standardization of care leading to better outcomes for patients. In 2022, TriHealth began an affiliation with Cleveland Clinic’s Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute – the nation’s top-ranked heart program, according to U.S. News & World Report – to share clinical best practices for patient care, giving TriHealth patients access to the expertise of Cleveland Clinic physicians as well as the latest technologies and innovations in heart care.

Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition in which the heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs for blood and oxygen. Essentially, the heart can’t keep up with its workload. People with heart failure often experience shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling in lower extremities, weakness, and the reduced ability to perform physical activity. In the United States, heart failure is estimated to affect 6.9 million adults and is expected to increase by 24% to nearly 8.5 million by 2030. Overall, heart failure is associated with a four-fold increased risk of death and a six to nine times increased risk of sudden cardiac death.

Related Providers
Vascular Surgery