Ventricular Assist Devices
If you have chronic heart failure with symptoms that persist even with medication, it can feel like you are running out of options. At Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute, we try to provide more options. By offering ventricular assist devices (VAD), we help people stay mobile or wait safely until a heart becomes available for heart transplant.
What Is a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)?
A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump. When one of the heart’s natural pumps (a ventricle) does not perform well, we use a VAD to increase the amount of blood that flows through the body. Having a VAD implant allows most people with advanced heart failure to return to a fuller life.
A VAD may be a treatment in itself, called destination therapy. It may also be a bridge to a transplant, to help maintain your health while you wait for a heart. At Memorial, we use it both ways.
A cardiac surgeon will implant the VAD in your chest and connect it to an external controller (small computer that monitors the pump) which attaches to a power source outside your body (batteries or battery pack outside your body. Once you recover from the surgery, you can go home. We monitor VAD patients very closely.
Why Choose Memorial for VAD Treatment?
Every day, our heart failure team works with patients who are exhausted and frustrated. We try to bring hope, offering:
- Personalized VAD therapy: We use VAD in different ways, depending on a patient’s risk factors and overall condition. We use two types of VADs: HeartMate and HeartWare. Our heart failure specialists will walk you through whichever type of VAD may be right for you. Learn more about heart failure.
- Experienced heart failure team: Our VAD team works together to make sure you have the support you need, both in the hospital and once you return home. We want our VAD patients to be able to live independently and enjoy life. The team includes:
- Dedicated VAD coordinator (available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 954-232-5094)
- Advanced practice heart failure nurses
- Cardiologists with advanced training in heart failure
- Cardiac surgeons
- Cardiac anesthesiologists
- Pharmacists, nutritionist and social workers
- Proactive approach to VAD: In the past, doctors postponed VAD treatment until a patient’s condition was critical. New research has shown that offering a VAD earlier helps keep a person’s organs healthier, keeping them stronger. These patients are better able to recover from the VAD surgery and possible heart transplant surgery.
- Heart transplant: Our growing transplant program means that we are able to treat the most severe cases of heart failure. We were the first hospital in Broward County to offer heart transplant, and our outcomes are comparable with the top heart programs in the country. Learn more about heart transplant.
To schedule an appointment or learn more about heart and vascular care at Memorial, call 954-232-5094.