Ventricular Assist Devices
A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a surgically-implanted, battery-operated pump that helps take over some - or, in some cases, all - of the work of the heart. The most common type of VAD is a left ventricular assist device or LVAD. The LVAD does not replace the heart but assists it. When an LVAD is implanted, the heart will continue to function as it did before, but the LVAD will pick up the work the left ventricle is too weak to handle, increasing the amount of blood and oxygen the body receives.
Joint Commission Gold Seal of National Quality Approval
University Heart's LVAD team works closely with patients, from the initial appointment to surgery and follow-up care. Through detailed planning with our multidisciplinary team, LVAD patients have the best chance at a desirable outcome.
Our LVAD program has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval™ for ventricular assist device destination therapy.
When are LVADs used?
LVADs may be used short-term or long-term depending on the patient's individual condition.
- Bridge to Transplantation – LVAD is used to stabilize the heart, improving the patient's quality of life, until a donor heart is matched and becomes available.
- Destination Therapy – For ineligible heart transplant candidates, LVAD serves to improve the patient's symptoms and quality of life by assisting the heart function for the remainder of the patient's life span.
LVAD patient support group
UMMC offers a patient-led support group to all LVAD patients and their caregivers for emotional and educational support. The meetings are held every other month. Members of our multidisciplinary team also attend to provide a better understanding of LVAD.
LVAD mentor program
During the evaluation phase for an LVAD placement and whenever possible, a current UMMC LVAD patient meets with a prospective LVAD recipient. This meeting gives the new patient an opportunity to ask questions and speak with someone who's been through the procedure. We encourage our LVAD patients to volunteer some of their time to our mentor program.
- For more information about the program or becoming a volunteer, call (601) 984-5078.