What is a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)?
A ventricular assist device (VAD) as the name suggests is an artificial heart pumping machine that assists the weakened heart of a person to pump blood as the heart is not strong enough to do that on its own (heart failure). VAD is implanted in people who are not fit or a good candidate for a heart transplant or may have to wait for a long period of time to find a heart donor.
Although a ventricular assist device can be placed in the left, right, or both ventricles of your heart (bilateral ventricular assist device), it is most frequently implanted in the left ventricle hence it is called a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
Your surgeon may recommend that you can have a Ventricular Assist Device implanted if:
- You have to wait for a long period of time to find a donor for a heart transplant surgery.
- You are not a fit candidate for a heart transplant because of age (older than 65) or other conditions.
If a VAD is not suitable for your condition, then your doctor may consider replacing the weakened heart with an artificial heart as a treatment option.
How does a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) function?
- The Left Ventricular Assist Device has a tube that pulls blood from the left ventricle into a pump, which sends blood into the aorta and this helps the weakened ventricle.
- The pump is placed in the upper part of the abdomen, and the LVAD has both internal and external components.
- LVAD’s are portable and can be used for weeks to months. Patients implanted with LVADs can be discharged from the hospital and they can have a good quality of life while waiting for a heart donor to become available.
How is a Left Ventricular Assist Device implanted?
The procedure to implant a left ventricular assist device generally takes 4 to 6 hours.
- Step 1 – In this procedure, your surgeon will make an incision below your heart and will separate your chest bone and open your rib cage to operate on your heart.
- Step 2 – You will be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine that keeps oxygenated blood flowing through your body during surgery if your heart is stopped during surgery.
- Step 3 – After implanting the LVAD, the surgeons will take off the heart-lung bypass machine so that the implanted device can begin pumping blood through your heart.
- Step 4 – Your lungs may have difficulty breathing immediately after the surgery, so you will remain connected to a ventilator for a few days after surgery until you can breathe on your own.
What are the benefits of implanting an LVAD?
- A ventricular assist device restores blood flow to a person whose heart is weakened by heart disease. This relieves symptoms such as being constantly tired and shortness of breath.
- It maintains or improves other organs and helps the person go through cardiac rehabilitation. It also gives a longer survival and a better quality of life.
- Ventricular assist devices are a good option for people who have to wait for a period of time for a donor.
What are the complications of implanting a Left ventricular assist device?
Ventricular assist device is open-heart surgery and has serious risks, the risk includes:
- Device failure
- Right Heart failure
- Internal bleeding
- Blood clots
- Respiratory failure
- Kidney failure
How will life be after implanting an LVAD?
- Once the device is implanted, you will be constantly connected to the LVAD external controller and power source. Your device will be on battery power whenever you are active and connected to an electrical power when you are sleeping.
- You will also need to keep a set of backup and fully charged batteries with you at all times. You must take this backup equipment with you whenever you leave home.
- The device is portable, so you will be able to move around easily. Depending on your medical team’s advice, you may also be able to drive.
- Pets should be kept away from the patient so that they do not damage the device as some parts of the device are external.
What is the cost of a left ventricular assist device implant in India?
Due to our decade-old association and our valued relations with the best hospitals and top cardiac surgeons in India, we ensure that you get the best treatment & medical services while keeping the cost affordable.
The cost of left ventricular assist device implantation in India is
For any queries regarding post-operative recovery care, medical travel & stay, etc during the Medical treatment or to get an online consultation with a cardiac surgeon and undergo LVAD implant surgery in India you can fill the form below and we will contact you as soon as possible or you can contact us at email@example.com or Whatsapp us at +918928811870.
The results of the Ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation in India arranged by us have been mostly positive. It is very important to undergo all the prescribed tests based on medical history so that the doctors can determine the perfect medical solution yet manage to keep surgery costs low. Check out more valuable information about Heart transplant surgery in India.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can an LVAD replace your heart?
No, an LVAD does not replace the heart. But, acts like an artificial heart pumping machine that helps the heart in pumping blood.
Can a patient with a VAD implant go through a metal detector?
No, it is advised that you do not go through a metal detector/body scanner as these devices can interfere with the VAD implant. Instead, you may request a hand search.
How long can a person live with an LVAD?
The expected survival for LVAD patients continues to improve with newer technology. Some patients have survived up to 13 years.
How long does it take to recover from a ventricular assist device implant surgery?
The average length of hospital stay for LVAD implant patients is two to three weeks, and most patients will go to rehabilitation for one to two weeks after being discharged. Care is individualized to meet a patient’s needs.
Is a Left Ventricular Assist Device permanent?
At times the pump could be a long-term option, but if you use an LVAD permanently it is known as “destination therapy.”