A ventricular assist device (VAD) helps the heart pump blood from one of the main pumping chambers to the rest of the body or to the other side of the heart.
A tube will connect the pump to the patient’s heart. Another tube will connect the pump to the aorta or one of the other major arteries. Another tube will be passed through the skin to connect the pump to the controller and batteries.
The VAD will take blood from the ventricle through the tube that leads to the pump. Then the device will pump the blood back out to one of the arteries and through the patient’s body.
A patient may need a VAD if he or she has severe heart failure that cannot be controlled with medicine, pacing devices, or other treatments. Some patients get this device while on a waiting list for a heart transplant.
Not everyone with severe heart failure is a good candidate for this procedure.
A VAD may help people who have heart failure live longer. It may also help improve patients’ quality of life.