Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) are used for end-stage heart failure patients.
An LVAD is a battery-operated, mechanical pumping device surgically implanted to help the heart pump blood through the body. UVA was the first hospital in Virginia to implant LVADs in patients.
New Generation LVADs
At UVA, we use the newer generation LVAD, which is the smallest pump used in the United States. We use these LVADs in patients with end-stage heart failure. The devices can last for three to five years, and you can go home with these devices rather than stay in hospital.
LVADs also allow critically ill patients to undergo other procedures that they might otherwise be too sick to tolerate.
LVADs: Alternative to Heart Transplant
UVA is also certified to use LVADs as an alternative to heart transplant.
Medical restrictions and age may prevent many heart failure patients from receiving a heart transplant. But some heart failure patients may benefit from LVADs as a permanent transplant alternative.