LVAD or Left Ventricular Assist Device is a mechanical pump implanted in the chest that pumps blood from the left ventricle to the rest of the body. It is a treatment option for patients with end-stage heart failure.
LVAD does not replace the heart. It receives blood from the left ventricle and pumps along with the patient’s heart. LVADs can be used in two ways: bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy.
Bridge-to-transplant (BTT): Bridge-to-transplant therapy helps patients awaiting heart transplant to survive until a donor heart becomes available. The LVAD assists the heart and enables the patient to have improvement in symptoms and overall condition of the patient which helps in positive outcome of heart transplant.
Destination therapy (DT): Destination therapy is considered for patients with heart failure who are not suited for heart transplant surgery. It enables patients to receive long-term treatment using an LVAD thereby prolonging and improving the quality of life for the patients.
LVAD increases blood flow to the body and improves the functioning of the liver, kidneys, brain and other organs. It improves the patient’s strength and helps patients to take part in activities that were not possible before implant. It also enables patients to live longer.