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Understanding LVADs

You may have heard that some people suffering from advanced heart failure can be helped with a heart pump, also known as a left ventricular assist
device (LVAD)X CLOSELeft ventricular assist device (LVAD) –A device implanted into the chest to help the heart pump blood.
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How do LVADs work?

An LVAD is a mechanical device that helps people when their heart is too weak to pump blood. An LVAD doesn’t replace the heart. It assists the heart in pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body so that the organs and muscles can function properly. The LVAD system has parts that work inside and outside the body. Inside, a heart pump is attached to the left side of the heart. Outside, a controller, batteries, and driveline help to power and control the heart pump.



“After failed attempts with multiple medications, I went into multiple organ failure and needed HeartMate II to survive. I am now able to resume my life as a wife, mother, and physical therapist.”

Laura HeartMate II recipient

How do LVADs help patients with advanced heart failure?

Since LVADs help move more oxygen-rich blood throughout the body, recipients often have more energy than before and can resume activities they enjoy.

Sometimes, an LVAD, such as HeartMate II, can help the heart rest and regain its ability to pump blood.

Who can use an LVAD?

All people with advanced heart failure should be considered for an LVAD. In fact, American Heart Association guidelines state LVADs are the standard of care for advanced heart failure. An evaluation will determine if the therapy is right for you.

Some patients use LVADs to help their heart pump blood while awaiting heart transplant surgery. This is called a Bridge to TransplantationX CLOSEBridge to Transplantation –Temporary support forpeople with heart failure who are waiting for a heart transplant. Bridge to Transplantation involves the use of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD)..

Other patients may not be eligible for heart transplant surgery but may still benefit from an LVAD. These patients keep the LVAD for the long term. This is called Destination TherapyX CLOSEDestination Therapy –Permanent support for advanced-stage heart failure for patients who do not qualify for a heart transplant. Destination Therapy refers to the implantation of a ventricular assist device (VAD) for long-term use, rather than as a Bridge to Transplantation..

What is HeartMate II?

HeartMate II is a small, implantable heart pump, called an LVAD, that represents a breakthrough in medical technology and has rapidly become the most widely used and studied LVAD in the world.

Getting an LVAD comes with some risks. For potential complications and adverse events, click here.

For indications for use, contraindications, warnings, and adverse events view our HeartMate II safety information. Individual experiences, symptoms, situations, and circumstances may vary. Please consult your physician or qualified healthcare provider regarding your condition and appropriate medical treatment.


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I am an advanced heart failure patient seeking new treatment. I am a caregiver looking for treatment alternatives. I am familiar with HeartMate II and LVADs and want to learn more. My doctor has talked to me about HeartMate II/LVAD therapy, and I want to learn more.