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Left Ventricular Assist Device

The Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a mechanical circulatory support (MCS) device intended for a broad range of advanced-stage heart failure patients. The procedure is designed to restore blood flow, improve survival, functional status and quality of life.

Based on the impressive clinical outcomes of the landmark HeartMate II clinical trial initiated in 2003, the HeartMate II (device used at UTMC) received FDA approval for Bridge-to-Transplantation (BTT) in April 2008.

On January 20, 2010, FDA approval was received for Destination Therapy (DT), or long-term support, for those who do not qualify for heart transplantation due to age or other circumstances.

Benefits of LVAD
The LVAD incorporates many features specifically intended to minimize the risk of complications and improve device durability while enhancing patient outcomes.

Major clinical studies have shown the LVAD to provide long term survival that is up to six times greater than previously reported outcomes with medical therapy alone, and more than two times greater than the previous DT-approved device.

Quality of Life
The LVAD is an implantable device that facilitates freedom of movement, routine daily activities, travel and even some sports like golf - leading to an improved quality of life for patients.

Home Discharge
Patients can be discharged from the hospital, providing significant psychological and social benefits to the patient as well as cost savings to the patient and hospital alike.

Low Incidence of Thromboembolic (TE) Complications - Stroke
The blood flow path has been optimized to ensure thorough washing of surfaces and eliminate stagnation. And blood-contacting surfaces are designed to avoid blood damage. As a result, the device is exceptionally durable, dependable and thromboresistant.

Simplicity/Ease-of-Use The simple design - with one moving part contributes substantially to reliable operation.

The device was designed for long-term support.

The HeartMate II is the smallest of all the FDA-approved LVADs – measures approximately 3 inches in length and weighs approximately 10 ounces.

How does it work?
The LVAD is implanted alongside a patient’s native heart and designed to take over the pumping ability of the weakened heart’s left ventricle, which is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood from the lungs throughout the body. The device is placed just below the diaphragm in the abdomen.

It is attached to the aorta (the main artery that feeds blood into the entire body) from the natural heart, leaving natural circulation in place while providing all of the energy necessary to propel blood throughout the body. An external, wearable system that includes a controller and batteries is attached via an external driveline. A power cable connects the device to a small monitor, a power base unit. The device can pump up to 10 liters of blood per minute, covering the full output of a healthy heart. The LVAD is designed to provide long term cardiac support for patients who have advanced-stage heart failure.

To learn more, or see if this procedure may be for you,
The Advanced Heart Failure Clinic
University of Toledo Medical Center
3000 Arlington Ave.
Toledo, Ohio 43614


Last Updated: 4/13/17