An LVAD is a mechanical device that is implanted in the body and connected to the left lower chamber of the heart to help pump blood to the rest of the body. They are normally used to assist the functioning of a failing heart. Depending on the underlying conditions, they may be used for a short time or a long time as life-sustaining devices.
Left Ventricular Assist Device implantation is an elective procedure.
Left Ventricular Assist Device may be of the following types based on the mechanical device being used
Some indications for a Left Ventricular Assist Device implantation include
Some contraindications for a Left Ventricular Assist Device implantation include
Some investigations that are done before an LVAD implantation include
Before an LVAD implantation, the following is done
Duration: LVAD implant may take up to a few hours
Anaesthesia: LVAD implant is done under general anaesthesia
Description of the Procedure: With the individual lying on the back, after the anaesthesia has taken effect, and all the monitoring lines are in place, a median sternotomy (incision in the midline of the chest) is done. A cardiopulmonary bypass and mechanical ventilation are done. An LVAD pocket is created within the body to hold the device. The heart is stopped using cardioplegic drugs. The left ventricle is then connected to the inlet of the LVAD and the outlet of the LVAD is connected to the aorta. A cable is used to connect the pump to the battery unit that is present outside the body. The device is checked to see that it is working properly. After this, the incisions in the chest are closed and chest tubes are left in place.
After an LVAD implant, the following is usually done
Medications: Anticoagulant medication, antibiotics are generally prescribed.
Discharge: Is usually 1-2 weeks after the procedure.
Review: Usually done 3-5 days after discharge, with periodical follow up thereon.
Resumption of normal activities: Usually with restrictions 3-4 weeks after the procedure.
Some measures that will be needed after an LVAD implant include
Some of the complications that may arise after an LVAD implant include
The prognosis of an LVAD implant depends on the underlying condition, the reason why it is done, as well as on the general health of the individual.
Hospitalization will be required.
LVAD implant is done by specialists from the Department of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, and Heart Failure & Transplant Cardiology.