UR Medicine is proud to be one of the five largest VAD programs in the Nation. Beginning in 2001, our program has participated in nearly every major clinical study involving ventricular assist devices.
We are also the first team in the nation to implant a VAD by using the Sternal Sparing technique. It is difficult for some people with advanced heart failure to endure traditional open surgeries—recovery is long and painful as the chest bone heals. This new technique uses two small incisions, avoiding the need to open the sternum, or “crack the chest.” Patients have shorter hospitalizations, fewer complications and less pain, all contributing to faster recovery and quicker return to their normal routine.
Our pioneering efforts led to FDA approval which will lead to other heart centers adopting this advanced technique benefitting patients across the country.
When neither medication nor heart transplant is an option, a VAD is a device that can help the heart function. 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.
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: