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Atrium Health Navicent is First in Central Georgia to Place Barostim Implant

Atrium Health The Medical Center building.

In January, Atrium Health Navicent The Medical Center became the first health system in central Georgia to perform a Barostim implant in a heart failure patient. The implant stimulates natural sensors in the body that tell the nervous system how to regulate heart function and helps to relieve symptoms of heart failure by reducing the heart’s workload and improving the heart’s pumping efficiency.


“Our bodies have a sympathetic system, also known as the ‘fight or flight system,’ and the parasympathetic system which calms us down. In heart failure patients, the heart feels like it’s always in a stressful state of fight or flight. The Barostim implant stimulates a nerve to calm the body, improving heart function,” said Dr. Erskine James, an Atrium Health Navicent cardiologist who treats heart failure patients. “It’s a new tool we can use to help patients feel better, so they can have more energy and live fuller lives.”


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6.2 million American adults have heart failure. Symptoms relieved by the Barostim implant include shortness of breath during daily activities, having trouble breathing when lying down, weight gain and generally feeling tired or weak.


Candidates for the device include heart failure patients who continue to have symptoms despite medical therapy. Patients also typically have heart failure from a weakened heart, or heart failure with reduced ejection fracture.


The new Barostim procedure, performed by vascular surgeon, Dr. Jason Chapman, is just one of the many vascular and endovascular care options available close to home at the Atrium Health Navicent Luce Heart Institute. In fact, Atrium Health Navicent is one of only four hospital systems in the nation — and the only one in Georgia — to receive the triple crown of heart accreditations by the American College of Cardiology. These designations include Chest Pain Center with Primary PCI Accreditation, Heart Failure Accreditation and Atrial Fibrillation with EPS Accreditation.


Atrium Health Navicent was one of the first in the region to implement the use of the Watchman device for people with Atrial Fibrillation (AFib). The Watchman procedure is one of several ways patients can get specialized care at the Structural Heart and Valve Clinic at Atrium Health Navicent, one of only two such clinics south of Atlanta, and the only one in our region to offer Transaortic Valve Replacement (TAVR).


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