LVAD

LVAD is a surgically implanted mechanical pump that is attached to the heart. LVAD is different from an artificial heart. An artificial heart replaces the failing heart completely, whereas LVAD works with the heart to help it pump more blood with less work. It does this by continuously taking blood from the left ventricle and moving it to the aorta, which then delivers oxygen-rich blood throughout the body.

The LVAD has both internal and external components. The actual pump sits on or next to your heart’s left ventricle with a tube attached that routes the blood to your aorta. A cable called driveline extends from the pump, out through the skin, and connects the pump to a controller and power sources worn outside the body

If a patient has reached a stage of advanced heart failure where the heart is no longer able to pump enough blood to meet body’s needs, then the doctor may recommend LVAD (Left Ventricular Assist Device) implant surgery. Today’s LVADs are used in three different ways:

  • When an LVAD is implanted in a patient waiting for a heart transplant, it is 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 continue 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

LVAD Technology

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.

As LVAD technology continues to improve, so does the quality and quantity of life for 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.

FAQs

A Coronary Angioplasty is one of the most common types of treatment for the heart and is a life saving procedure. The risk of routine Angioplasty is 0.5 % (1 in 200).

No. Angioplasty is done under local anaesthesia with very little or no pain. Patients are completely awake and may even watch the procedure on screen

Angioplasty is done in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory (Cath Lab). It is a minimally invasive procedure done under local anaesthesia by inserting a catheter (thin tube) through a small puncture in a leg or arm artery. Some dye (contrast) is injected into the catheter so that the arteries can be seen on the X-Ray screen. This helps in showing where the narrowing in the arteries are and how severe they are. Watching on the special X-Ray screen, a thin wire is then passed inside the artery through the blocked segment. This is followed by insertion of a tiny balloon at a spot where the artery is narrowed to help widen the artery. The final step involves permanent placement of a small wire mesh tube called the stent, to fully open the artery and reduce the risk of it narrowing again.

The procedure can take anything between 30 min to 60 min (or even longer if multiple narrowing are present). Patient typically spends 2 days in the hospital.

Like all organs in the body, the heart needs a constant supply of blood. This is supplied by two large blood vessels called the left and right coronary arteries.

Over time, these arteries can become narrowed and hardened by the build-up of fatty deposits called plaques. This process is known as atherosclerosis, People with atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries are said to have coronary heart disease.

After a heart attack, you will need to see your doctor regularly for check-ups to see how your heart is doing. Most people who don’t have chest pain or discomfort or other problems can safely return to their normal activities within a few weeks. Depending upon your condition, the doctor may recommend it.Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoke, changing the diet, or increasing your physical activity. Medications to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure and help reduce the heart’s workload.

  • Don’t smoke and avoid passive smoke
  • Treat high blood pressure
  • Eat food that is low in saturated fats, trans-fat, cholesterol and salt

Contact your doctor for advice as soon as possible if you experience any of the following problems:

  • Severe or increasing pain in or around the wound
  • Extreme Shortness of breath
  • Swelling around the wound
  • Any pus coming out from the wound

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