Ventricular Assist Device
What is a Ventricular Assist Device?
A ventricular assist device is a surgically implanted pump used in patients who are in heart failure. While there are many different types of ventricular assist devices, the two main types that have been approved are the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) and the Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device (PVAD). The LVAD works by helping the pulling blood from the left side of the heart and circulating the blood from the heart to the rest of the body. The PVAD works on both sides of the heart to assist with blood flow.
Who is a candidate for a Ventricular Assist Device?
Candidates for a ventricular assist device are patients with chronic congestive heart failure who meet certain criteria. These patients usually have severe CHF that can no longer be treated adequately with medications.
Ventricular assist devices are not appropriate for some patients, including those with advanced and irreversible kidney failure, liver disease, lung disease, or blood clotting orders.
What are the risks of implanting a Ventricular Assist Device?
Implantation of an LVAD is a major surgery. Most patients have to stay in the hospital for several days or weeks after the operation. Some of the risks include but are not limited to bleeding, blood clots, stroke, and infections.