What is LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device)?
LVAD is a Left Ventricular Assist Device that is implanted in patients who are at high risk and in the last stages of heart failure. It is a small pump-like device that helps the left ventricle pump blood to the body.
LVAD is an advanced technology that is smaller, more durable, more reliable, and easier to the implant which provides patients the opportunity to live a longer and healthier life. LVADs can be used as -
Bridge-to-transplant Therapy - It always takes time to get a heart donor, so LVAD is transplanted in patients until a heart becomes available. It acts as a life-saving treatment for people who are in need of heart transplants. In some situations, an LVAD can recover a failing heart and also avoid the need for a transplant.
Destination Therapy- Some patients are not eligible for heart transplants and require other treatment. In this case, they can undergo long-term care with an LVAD, which can help them live longer and better lives.
Advantages of LVAD implantation
LVADs are used to help people with advanced heart failure, especially:
People who have severe chronic health conditions or elderly people who cannot opt for a heart transplant.
People who are waiting for a heart donor but their severity doesn't allow them to wait for more.
People who do not have proper BMI for a heart transplant.
People who are in high stages of dilated cardiomyopathy or myocarditis.
People who had heart surgery but are unable to withdraw themselves off cardiopulmonary bypass.
People who have a medical condition that prevents them from getting heart transplant surgery.
People who had organ rejection after a heart transplant.
People who have suffered major heart attacks and have no other treatment options are left.
The following are the three types of LVAD applications
Short-term: For high-risk patients who are unable to live for an extended period of time.
Intermediate-term:Up to 500 days for patients with a high risk of problems.
Long-term: For individuals with advanced heart failure who require outpatient care.
A normal heart transplant surgery vs LVAD implantation
|A normal Heart transplant surgery||LVAD implantation
|It is done only with the availability of a heart donor.||One does not need to wait for a heart donor.|
|A patient may face risks after a heart transplant. It also has less survival rate.||Improved quality of life and high survival rate of heart patients.|
|Less accessible ||Accessibility is increasing as compared to a heart transplant|
|More complications||Comparatively fewer complications.|
|The chances of a person getting a heart attack after heart transplantation is more.||The chances of a person getting a heart attack after this procedure is less.|
Before the procedure
Prior to the LVAD procedure, the surgeon gives the patient precise instructions and discusses potential concerns such as hemorrhage, infection, or an unfavorable reaction to the anesthetic.
Prior to the procedure, patients visit with the anesthesiologist to discuss their medical history. The night before the procedure, patients should not eat after midnight.
The patient arrives at the hospital on the day of the procedure, registers, and changes into a hospital gown. A nurse goes over the patient's records to make sure there aren't any issues.
The anesthesiologist then starts an IV and transports the patient to the operating room, where the surgeon confirms the patient's identity and procedure before administering any medicine. Once the patient is sedated, the procedure will begin.
During the procedure
The surgeon makes an incision on the breastbone and spreads the rib cage to get access to the heart. Patients will be kept on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine for some time, which will do the work of the heart and lungs until the operation is finished.
One end of the LVAD tube is connected to the left ventricle of the heart, while the other end of the external LVAD tube is connected to the aorta. The LVAD is operated by a small computer and a small electrical cord that exits from the upper abdomen and connects to a power supply (either batteries or a plug-in).
The patient is taken off cardiopulmonary bypass and the chest is stitched up once the device is working properly.
LVAD Post-Operative Information
Patients are transferred to the intensive care unit and monitored after surgery. Pain medicine is administered if needed. To support their breathing, patients are usually placed on a respirator for up to one day.
The length of a patient's stay in the hospital is determined by how soon they recuperate and are able to engage in some physical activity.
Following can be some of the risks or complications after the procedure-
- Right heart dysfunction
- Damage to blood cells
Complications are possible with every cardiac procedure. We monitor you closely and provide the best treatment outcomes. Make sure you inform about your medical history and all the medications you use.
LVAD Implantation at Medicover Hospitals
Medicover hospitals is one of the leading facilities for Cardiology in India. It has state-of-art facilities for almost all rare cardiology procedures with a high success rate and survival rates. Medicover uses an advanced technological approach for all treatments. It has a team of The Best Cardiologists in India who not only provide treatment for complicated cases but also provide guidance and support to their patients.