Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a type of mechanical circulatory support device. It is an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of your heart to the rest of the body.

A person may need a VAD while they wait for a heart transplant or at least till the heart is strong enough to effectively function on its own again. Patients with end-stage heart failure are often recommended to have a VAD implanted as long-term treatment if they are not a good candidate for a heart transplant.

What are the risks of a VAD?

Implanting and using a ventricular assist device (VAD) involves certain risks.

  • Blood clots

    Blood clots may form as the blood moves through the VAD. These blood clots can result in a stroke or heart attack or cause your VAD to stop working.

  • Bleeding

    Implanting a VAD requires open-heart surgery which increases the risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. Taking blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of blood clotting can also increase the risk of bleeding in the GI tract and brain.

  • Infection

    The power source and control unit for the VAD are located outside the body and are connected through a port in the patient’s skin. Due to this, there is an increased risk of germs, causing a serious infection.

  • Device Malfunctions

    In an uncommon incident, the VAD may stop working properly after it is implanted. The power supply could also fail. This problem requires immediate medical attention.

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a type of mechanical circulatory support device. It helps the left ventricle (bottom chamber) of the heart pump blood out of the ventricle…

Right ventricular assist device (RVAD)

Right heart failure is a common complication after left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation. This can be managed by temporary right ventricular assist device (RVAD)…

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

A biventricular assist device (BiVAD) is an implantable pump designed to help the heart when both sides of the heart are failing. Under extreme circumstances, a person may…

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