Skip to content
Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS)

Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS)

What is Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS)?

For a patient who has multiple heart conditions including coronary artery disease, the heart may be weak in its function. Think of your heart as a pump, a weak pump due to a failing heart would not be able to provide circulation of nutrient and oxygen-rich blood to support bodily functions. When the heart function is critically impaired, treatment procedures e.g., coronary angioplasty become unsafe and the heart function may stop during the performance of such procedure. 

A Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) is a device that supports the heart function during such a procedure. It makes the procedure safer and enables the successful completion of the angioplasty procedure. If the cardiologist anticipates a complex procedure and foresees this happening, a mechanical circulatory support (MCS) device may be utilized. 

Who may require Mechanical Circulatory Support?

  • Emergency Cardiac Support for rapidly failing heart (cardiogenic shock)

Mechanical circulatory support devices are used as emergency cardiac support when the heart function rapidly fails. This may happen during a massive heart attack, virus infection of the heart or toxin damage to the heart. These devices can help support and stabilize the patient’s condition whilst the underlying cause is treated.

  • Protective heart support during Complex High-Risk PCI (CHIP PCI)

A PCI procedure may be at high risk owing to complex coronary artery disease, especially in the presence of a poorly functioning heart. In such cases, an MCS device may be placed before the procedure to protect the patient. 

How is MCS performed in CVSKL?

The two types of MCS devices used in CVSKL are the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) and the Impella device. 

The intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP) support involves the placement of a balloon catheter at the upper descending thoracic aorta through the groin artery. This balloon inflates and deflates in sync with the heart contraction and relaxation cycles. IABP provides support and may be useful for unstable patients or those with weakness in heart function. 

The Impella® device is a small rotary pump that is inserted into the left lower heart cavity (ventricle). It delivers blood from the left ventricle into the aorta (vessel that supplies blood to the rest of the body).

When the complex procedure is completed and the patient no longer needs the support, the Impella or IABP device is then removed, this often happens at the end of the procedure before transfer to the critical care area for observation.

Mechanical Circulatory Support
Source: Cleveland Clinic


Mechanical circulatory support devices support the heart’s function in pumping blood when it is compromised during certain emergency heart situations or high-risk cardiac procedures.

It is an extremely valuable tool in the management of critically ill patients. It helps to support the heart function whilst life-saving treatments are administered and the underlying cause is addressed.  It enables the successful completion of complex angioplasty procedures in high-risk patients with poor heart function.  

Elevating Patient Safety in High-Risk Cases with IMPELLA®

As the Center of Excellence for Complex High-Risk Percutaneous Coronary Intervention Procedures (CHIP), CVSKL is at the forefront of the latest treatment strategies dedicated to addressing complex cardiac cases while ensuring patient safety as our topmost priority.

The #IMPELLA device is an innovative tool that empowers our skilled cardiologists to execute optimised procedures for high-risk patients, resulting in more favourable outcomes through minimally invasive techniques. 

We proudly stand as the pioneering hospital to first successfully use the IMPELLA support device during a procedure. Stay up to date with the latest cutting-edge technologies that we employ to achieve the most precise outcomes for your cardiovascular needs.