What is an LVAD?
A left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is a mechanical pump that is implanted inside a person’s chest to help a weakened heart pump blood.
Unlike a total artificial heart, the LVAD doesn’t replace the heart. It just helps it do its job. This can mean the difference between life and death for a person whose heart needs a rest after open-heart surgery or for people waiting for a heart transplant. LVADs are often called a “bridge to transplant.”
LVADs may also be used as ”destination therapy.” This means it is used long-term in some terminally ill people whose condition makes it impossible for them to get a heart transplant.
The LVAD: An Overview
- When an LVAD is implanted in a patient waiting for a heart transplant, it’s called Bridge to Transplant. The patient’s LVAD may remain in place for several years until a heart donor becomes available for transplant.
- If a patient is not eligible for a heart transplant, an LVAD may be implanted as a permanent solution. This is called Destination Therapy and is becoming more and more common as LVAD technology—and the quality of life it offers—continues to improve.
- An LVAD that is implanted for temporary heart failure is called Bridge to Recovery. In rare circumstances, a heart may recover its strength after being given time to “rest” with the help of an LVAD. In the vast majority of cases, however, advanced heart failure is a permanent and irreversible condition.
What Are the Benefits of an LVAD?
An LVAD restores blood flow to a person whose heart has been weakened by heart disease. This helps relieve some symptoms, such as being constantly tired or short of breath.
In rare cases, it lets the heart recover its normal ability by giving it a chance to rest. It maintains or improves other organs, helps with doing exercise, and lets the person go through cardiac rehabilitation.
There are several different LVAD models available today. Each has unique engineering characteristics and different external equipment, but they all serve the same function. Today’s LVADs are quite different from earlier models, which were larger, noisier and less durable, with bulkier power sources.
Some newer LVADs are currently undergoing approval in the U.S. Most have already been approved in Europe, where the approval process tends to take less time.
As LVAD technology continues to improve, so does the quality and quantity of life for LVAD patients: today’s LVAD patients. Today’s LVAD patients have at least an 85% one-year survival rate* and can enjoy fulfilling lives and in many cases even return to work. By contrast, advanced heart failure with medical therapy alone is known to have a 25–50% one-year survival rate.
*Because LVAD technology is quite new, longer-term survival rates are not yet available
LVAD Implant Surgery
LVAD implantation is an open-heart surgery that takes from 4 to 6 hours to perform. It is performed through an incision made over your breastbone (sternal incision) or can be done using two smaller incisions on either side of your chest between the ribs. The recovery process following surgery varies from patient to patient. The hospital length of stay can range anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks but may change based on your specific needs. Each hospital follows slightly different procedures, but the information below will give you a general sense of what to expect.
How Life Changes After The Treatment
There’s no doubt that having an LVAD is a big adjustment, both for you and your caregiver, as well as your loved ones. Most people who have an LVAD are able to live at home, move freely, enjoy favorite activities and even return to work or school. Many LVAD patients also find they have more energy than they did before, because more oxygen-rich blood is moving through their bodies.
Below are some of the life changes you can expect when you have an LVAD. For more detailed information and tips for everyday life with your LVAD, visit the Living With LVAD section of this site. Or Visit the Community Forums to connect with other people with LVADs and their caregivers. Knowing you’re not alone can make the transition much easier.
The device cost is around USD 130,000 20,000 and the charges including the surgery will cross more than USD 180,000
The device which is made in India is one third of the price which is USD 40,000.
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