Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
The number of donor hearts available for heart transplantation falls far short of demand. Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are helping doctors fill the heart transplant gap allowing advanced heart failure patients more time until a donor heart becomes available, or as a permanent therapy.
Mount Sinai has one of the largest LVAD programs in the United States. The program was launched in 2006. Our cardiothoracic surgeons successfully implant more than fifty LVADs each year in patients with advanced heart failure.
LVAD technology is used for patients with severe heart failure. It can be used either as "bridge-to-transplant" therapy for patients awaiting a heart transplant or as a "destination therapy" for those patients in need of permanent support to extend their survival.
LVADs work to take over the function of a failing heart's damaged left ventricle. It powers the heart to pump and assists in circulating blood through the heart and throughout the body.
Today, the latest generation of these device systems are smaller and lighter than ever before allowing LVAD patients to be discharged from the hospital after surgery with less heart failure symptoms and greater daily activity.
Mount Sinai was the first hospital in New York City to offer patients the advanced HeartMate II® Pocket Controller™ to help its advanced heart failure patients maintain more active lifestyles. This latest generation LVAD controller is a small, light-weight, patient-friendly external controller about the size of a smart phone that easily fits in a patient's front pocket and powers their heart to pump.
LVADs may be used for:
- Patients awaiting a heart transplant
- Severe heart failure patients ineligible for transplant
- Acute heart failure (sudden) patients who require temporary support
- Open-heart surgery patients in need of emergency support