When neither medication nor heart transplant is an option, there are devices available that can artificially help the heart function. One is a Ventricular Assist Device—or VAD. It doesn’t replace your heart, but works with it. This finger-sized pump is implanted next to your heart and runs on a battery pack you carry on your side.
VADs dramatically improve heart failure symptoms in many patients. In fact, survival rates for patients with VADs are quickly approaching those of patients who receive heart transplants. Many of the patients the UR Medicine team has treated with VADs go one to live active lives, participating in activities like hiking, golf and camping.
These devices can also help a patient stay healthy temporarily while they wait for a donor transplant heart to become available.
VAD implants require open heart surgery. You’ll be under general anesthesia for this procedure.
There are several important risks to consider before having a VAD implanted. Your doctors will discuss all of these risks with you. Risks include:
As one of the most experienced VAD centers in the U.S., UR Medicine offers patients the most advanced and effective VADs available today. We’ve been involved in most of the major VAD clinical trials of the past decade, and implanted over 600 VADs in recent years. We’ve developed expertise in numerous devices, including: