A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a battery-operated device used to help the left ventricle pump blood through the body.
It can be used in a variety of settings for patients who:
There are three categories for LVAD use:
Because of the limited number of available donor hearts, LVAD therapy is becoming more commonly performed than heart transplantation. While LVAD survival rates do not yet equal those of heart transplantation, they are getting ever closer. The devices are getting smaller, more durable, and less complicated from a surgical standpoint. Doctors are expecting that, in the future, patients will live even longer with the aid of LVADs.
UT Southwestern has played an integral role throughout the relatively short history of LVAD therapy and in the devices’ rapidly evolving technology. Not only was the UTSW Ventricular Assist Program the first to implement a pneumatic LVAD and among the first in the nation to be approved for LVAD destination therapy, it was also the first program in Dallas to implant an FDA-approved rotary pump and the only North Texas center to participate in the HeartWare Bridge-to-Transplant trial, which completed last year and received FDA approval in November 2012.