Ventricular Assist Device Program What Is a VAD

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What is a VAD?

A Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) is implanted surgically and provides partial or total circulatory assistance to the natural heart. Since 1969, VADs have been used as support to sustain a patient’s life and maintain their other organ function while awaiting heart transplantation. In cases where a patient is unable to receive a Heart transplant, the patient may receive a VAD through a therapy called Destination therapy. This allows for a better quality of life for the patient and also as a means of extending a person’s lifetime. Recently, great strides have been made to improve the quality of life for patients on VADs by allowing patients to go home on these devices. VADs also allow waiting-list candidates to improve their overall condition, providing adequate cardiac function for cardiac rehabilitation.

Complications of VADS

  • Complications vary with devices, and each device has its own pros and cons. Please discuss your options with your cardiovascular surgeon. Some complications include:
  • Bleeding
  • Stroke
  • Infection
  • Device dysfunction
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