Ventricular Assist Device - VAD
Congestive heart failure may be treated with lifestyle changes, medication or pacemaker use. Yet some patients’ hearts still do not pump blood sufficiently.
A ventricular assist device, known as VAD or LVAD (left ventricular assist device), can help patients with weakened hearts.
Surgeons at Abington Health’s Heart & Vascular Institute implant VADs, giving patients improved quality of life. We have received certification
for advanced Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) care from The Joint Commission, a quality accreditation organization.
How VAD Works
Ventricular assist devices may be used while recovering from heart surgery, awaiting heart transplant or for permanent therapy when transplant is not possible.
The mechanical device takes blood from the left ventricle of the heart and pumps it through the body. VAD can improve blood flow and organ function, helping patients become stronger.
Small battery-powered implanted VAD units let patients waiting for a heart transplant leave the hospital. Implanted intra-aortic balloon pumps maintain heart function. They inflate and deflate to generate pumping action.
Living With VAD
Patients with a VAD learn to manage the device once they are medically stable. They work with the Comprehensive Heart Failure Program team to maintain health and have regular follow-up appointments.
VAD enables a return to daily activities, including work and travel, with certain limitations. This cardiac assist therapy can decrease hospitalizations and improve quality of life.