For patients whose hearts are too sick or too weak to work on their own, a ventricular assist device (VAD) is now available at McLeod. VAD is a heart pump that offers circulatory assistance when the heart cannot maintain adequate circulation to the body. The device is surgically attached to the heart by a McLeod Cardiothoracic Surgeon. The pumping component of the system is placed outside of the body, resting on the abdomen.
Patients who benefit from this life saving device include those awaiting heart transplantation or those experiencing difficulty with recovery after open-heart surgery. Patients with a weak heart at times have difficulty being weaned off the bypass machine, the machine that pumps for the heart during surgery, and a VAD can provide much needed rest to the heart while it recovers. The VAD system is powered by a portable Driver that runs on either electricity during home use or rechargeable batteries outside of the home.
With the VAD, patients with weak hearts in need of medical support have the opportunity to live their lives outside of the hospital with marked improvements in their quality of life.
For patients who are waiting for a heart transplant, the Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) assists the heart with its pumping capabilities, allowing the patient to remain out of the hospital.
Reprinted with the permission of Thoratec Corporation.