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Ventricular Assist Devices

Heart & Vascular

Ventricular Assist Devices

Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute uses mechanical circulatory support including ventricular assist devices (VADs), or heart pumps, to support patients with intractable congestive heart failure.

We use VADs for patients:

  • With reversible forms of heart failure—Surgeons can implant a temporary VAD to allow the heart to recover and then remove the device later. This is called bridge to recovery.
  • Waiting for a heart transplant—VADs can support the heart while waiting for a donor heart to become available. This is called bridge to transplant.
  • Who are not candidates for heart transplants—A new generation of heart pumps can support the heart for years, allowing patients to live independently. This is called destination therapy.
  • Who might not benefit from a heart transplant—Surgeons implant a VAD to see how the patient's condition responds, helping them to decide whether the patient needs a transplant or the VAD. This is called bridge to decision.
     

Three types of ventricular assist devices (VADs)

Heart pumps that support … … are known as …
The left ventricle LVADs (left ventricular assist devices)
The right ventricle RVADs (right ventricular assist devices)
Both ventricles Bi-VADs (biventricular assist devices)

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