LVAD, or Left Ventricular Assist Device, is an implantable mechanical pump used to help patients suffering from end-stage heart failure to assist the left ventricle in pumping blood to various parts of the patient's body. It is a small, mechanical circulatory support device that runs on a battery and is surgically placed inside the patient's heart. It can be used as the destination therapy for patients who are not eligible for transplants.
Unlike a total artificial heart, LVAD treatment doesn't replace the heart; rather, it just assists the heart in performing its functions more accurately and without much strain. The device can help to postpone the need for a heart transplant. It thereby helps to keep the patient alive until a suitable donor is found. It also helps in improving the quality of life in patients with chronic heart failure whose symptoms are not controlled by maximum medical treatment and who are not heart transplant candidates.
Alternate name of LVAD
LVAD is also known as a mechanical circulatory support device
The LVAD is used under three categories such as:
- Short-term: For patients with high complications and cannot sustain life over the long term
- Intermediate-term: For patients with high complications for up to 500 days
- Long-term: For patients with advanced heart failure conditions and need support outside the hospital