For people who have advanced heart failure, one available option may be an implanted Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). An LVAD is a surgically implanted, battery-powered mechanical pump that helps the left ventricle pump adequate amounts of blood to the body when the heart is very weak.
The LVAD is implanted in your lower chest, just below the diaphragm, but above the abdominal cavity, and is connected to a power supply located outside your body. Blood is drawn through a tube placed in the tip of the left ventricle into the LVAD, which then pumps the blood through another tube into your aorta and throughout your body.
An LVAD is sometimes implanted in people who are waiting for a heart transplant as a "bridge to transplant." Some patients may experience improved heart function while the LVAD is in place, which may make a transplant unnecessary. This is referred to as “bridge to recovery” and if successful, the device can be removed. In patients who cannot undergo a heart transplant, the LVAD can be a "destination therapy"; that is, the LVAD is implanted permanently. As a Joint Commission Ventricular Assist Device certified center, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano can implant a ventricular device as bridge to transplant or as destination therapy. For guests who need a transplant, the specialists on the medical staff of The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano can refer to a Baylor heart transplant facility. For a physician referral, call 1.855.9BAYLOR (1.855.922.9567).
Physicians are members of the medical staff at one of Baylor Health Care System's subsidiary, community or affiliated medical centers and are neither employees nor agents of those medical centers, The Heart Hospital Baylor Plano or Baylor Health Care System.