Left Ventricular Assist Device
If your heart is failing, you may find that a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is an important part of your treatment plan. We use these devices to help patients with sudden heart failure following a large heart attack or for those with chronic heart failure who are waiting for a heart transplant. In some cases, we use LVADs for patients who are not eligible for a heart transplant. LVADs have been shown to improve survival and quality of life. At Mount Sinai, we offer the newest devices and the latest surgical techniques. We help you return home within two or three weeks after surgery.
What Is an LVAD?
The LVAD is the biggest advance in therapy for advanced heart failure over the past two decades. LVADs are miniaturized artificial heart pumps. They do not replace your heart, but work together with it to increase blood flow to the body. LVADs help you live longer and return to your regular activities without shortness of breath or fatigue. We use LVADs for several purposes:
- If you are waiting for a heart transplant, we may offer an LVAD until we find the right heart donor for you.
- If you have had temporary heart failure, we may offer an LVAD to help your heart “rest” and recover its strength. If your heart does not recover its strength, the LVAD can become a permanent solution.
- If you are not eligible for a heart transplant, we may use an LVAD as a permanent solution.
Thousands of people around the world have LVADs and live active, productive lives.
How Does an LVAD Work?
We implant the LVAD surgically and attach it to your heart. It is a mechanical pump that is different than an artificial heart. LVADs work with your heart to help it pump more blood with less work. An LVAD consists of a pump that sits on or next to your left ventricle and attaches by a tube to your aorta. A cable connects the pump to a controller and power source that you wear outside your body, which keeps the pump working properly. LVAD pumps are powered by batteries or electricity and have a carrying case that allows you to move around while wearing the device.
Services We Offer
We believe in a team approach before, during and after LVAD surgery. We understand that personalized care that addresses your individual needs is essential to ensure successful treatment. Our team includes:
- Advanced heart failure cardiologists
- Financial coordinators
- Nurse coordinators
- Physical therapists
- Social workers
- Specialized cardiac surgeons
- Specialized nurse practitioners
Our team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We monitor your progress and health closely while you are on LVAD support. In addition, we may recommend you participate in a cardiac rehabilitation program.
Our services extend beyond purely medical assistance. We understand that living with an LVAD can be stressful for you and your loved ones. Our monthly LVAD support group for patients and caregivers provides a safe forum to share your stories and learn from others who have been through similar experiences. Learn more about the LVAD Support Group
Please do not hesitate to contact us at (212) 241-1000 with any further questions about our program or to schedule a consultation.