A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a lightweight pump that helps restore normal blood flow in patients whose hearts are weakened by cardiac disease. It is used to sustain cardiac function in those with end-stage heart failure or as a bridge to heart transplants.
Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD) is designed to improve survival and quality of life of patients with end-stage heart failure. Today’s LVADs are lightweight and smaller than earlier models, so you’ll most likely to be able to move around fairly easily. An LVAD restores normal blood flow to a person whose heart has been weakened by heart disease.
The device does not replace the heart rather it is a rescue for patients whose heart is so weak not able to sustain the blood pressure and vital functions of body or as bridge to heart transplant. LVAD has increased the survival rates of patients and more importantly improves the quality of life in certain subset of patients; however, there can be some risks like stroke, infection and bleeding.
How Does LVAD Surgery Work?
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a surgically implantable mechanical pump that is attached to the heart. An LVAD is different from an artificial heart. An artificial heart replaces the failing heart completely whereas an LVAD works with the heart to help it pump more blood with less work. It does this by continuously taking blood from the left ventricle and moving it directly to the aorta, which then delivers oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.
The device is placed in the left ventricle (main chamber of the heart) to pump oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. The mechanical pump is put in extreme situations when the heart is too weak to function normally.
The LVAD has both internal and external components. The actual pump sits on or next to your heart’s left ventricle with a tube attached that routes the blood to your aorta. A cable called driveline extends from the pump, out through the skin, and connects the pump to a controller and power sources worn outside the body.
The driveline must be connected to the controller and the controller must be connected to power at all times to keep the pump working properly. The pump is powered by batteries or electricity. Each device has specific carrying cases to allow you to move about freely.
Benefits of Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD)
Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD) relieves symptoms such as:
Being constantly tired
Shortness of breath
A better quality of life.
Life after Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD) Surgery
Once your LVAD is implanted, you will be connected to the LVAD external controller and power source at all times. Your device will be on battery power whenever you’re active and connected to electrical power when you are sleeping. You will also need to have an extra controller and fully charged batteries (and power cables if applicable) available at all times as an emergency backup. You’ll need to be sure to take this backup equipment with you whenever you leave home.
After lot of modifications present day devices are not so heavy and easy to handle than earlier models, so you’ll most likely be able to move around fairly easily, get certain kinds of moderate exercise and enjoy intimacy with your spouse or partner. Depending on your medical team’s advice and policies, you may also be able to drive. Children and pets should be kept away from the patient so that they don’t damage the equipment or pull the driveline.
Till date more than 28,000 LVADs have been implanted globally and 10,000 patients are on device at present. Out of these, more than 500 patients are on this device for more than 10 years.
Risks Associated with Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD) Procedure
Just like any other heart device, it can have complications so our experts are there to monitor and manage the complications that can arise. Major complications associated withs LVADS are
Left Ventricular Assisted Device (LVAD Team) Surgeons Care for Patients
Our comprehensive heart failure services include medical therapy, LVAD, ECMO, ambulatory balloon pumps and heart transplantation. Our specialized team uses innovative technology and therapies to treat patients with heart failure. We have introduced Advanced Heart Failure Clinic with the aim to identify potential candidates for heart transplant and ventricular assist device. The aim of heart failure clinic is an organized effort by experts to provide right choice of therapy and quality care for heart failure patients.