Left Ventricular Assist Device, Aka the Pump!⁠


Left Ventricular Assist Device, Aka the Pump!⁠

Cardiac transplantation is an option for patients with severe heart failure, and a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, may help to bridge a patient while awaiting transplantation.⁠

The LVAD is a battery-operated, continuous-flow pump that connects the left ventricle to the ascending aorta via an internal cannula. It helps the left ventricle pump blood to the rest of the body in patients who have reached end-stage heart failure.⁠

In other words, it’s a mechanical circulatory support that is used to salvage the cardiogenic shock patient and as a bridge to transplant therapy, but can also be permanent or be used for destination therapy.⁠

By restoring the failing heart, it temporarily eliminates the need for a transplant.⁠

Over the past several years, there has been a dramatic shift from the use of large pulsatile left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) to the use of smaller continuous-flow devices for the provision of mechanical circulatory support in patients with heart failure.⁠

However, the fundamental issues related to surgical implantation remain the same. That is, most devices use the apex of the left ventricle as the inflow site to the pump, which subsequently gives off an outflow graft to the aorta, thus bypassing the failing LV.⁠

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