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Left Ventricular Assist Device


Left Ventricular Assist Devices, also known as LVADs, can dramatically improve symptoms in patients with heart failure. Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento has specialized services available to these patients at our Advanced Heart Disease Clinic to help them through the various stages of heart failure and improve their quality of life.

Why Choose Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento?

The Advanced Heart Disease Clinic has a team with extensive experience with heart failure. They assist patients from initial referral, through LVAD implant surgery to post-implant follow-up, education and support. They are also members of one of the largest heart surgery teams in California.

What is a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)?

A Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump that can be used to keep the heart functioning in patients with life-threatening heart disease whose quality of life has been greatly diminished due to heart failure. A LVAD assists the heart with pumping blood to the body, however it does not fully replace the function of the heart.

 

LVADs may be used for many reasons:

  • To help a heart become stronger, known as a "bridge to recovery"
  • As a temporary support for a patient waiting for a heart transplant, known as a "bridge to transplant"
  • As a long-term solution for a patients who are not candidates for heart transplant, known as "destination therapy"

What to Expect During LVAD Implantation

Your doctor implants the LVAD during a surgical procedure. Here's what to expect:

 

  • During the procedure, your doctor implants a heart pump into the left side of your heart. The pump then takes over the function of your left ventricle, pumping the oxygenated blood from your heart out into your body.
  • The pump is connected to a small, external battery pack, worn close to your body like a holster.
  • Advanced heart failure patients can experience a dramatic improvement in their heart failure symptoms after implantation. The body is receiving more oxygen-rich blood, which improves energy levels and quality of life.

Because a LVAD involves a pump and battery packs, worn outside the body, it requires frequent supervision by a team of heart failure specialists, like the team at the Advanced Heart Disease Clinic.

 

To contact the Advanced Heart Disease Clinic, call (916) 453.4768. For a referral to a Dignity Health specialist, please call (888) 253-1704.