Left ventricle assist device (LVAD)

A left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is an implantable device that supports a weakened heart. It does the job of your heart's upper left chamber (left ventricle) by pumping blood to the rest of your body. We use LVADs to relieve symptoms of heart failure.

LVADs use a battery-operated pump and require surgery to implant. They are portable, so you can leave the hospital after you recover from surgery. An LVAD helps you stay mobile if you have severe symptoms that were keeping you bedridden.

What you should know about LVAD:

  • LVAD is commonly used as a bridge to heart transplant. That means it can keep your heart beating until a donor heart becomes available for transplant.
  • LVAD is also a treatment in itself, or a destination therapy. It can help end-stage heart failure patients when heart transplant is not a suitable option.

Why choose Geisinger for LVAD?

  • LVAD care team: Geisinger has a dedicated LVAD care team, which includes a specialist in heart failure, a heart surgeon and a VAD coordinator. Your VAD coordinator will be with you throughout the entire process to answer any questions and connect you with resources.
  • Specialized experience: We have been performing LVAD longer than anyone else in the region. Our heart care team has extensive expertise implanting LVADs and caring for people with the devices.
  • Care coordination for transplant: For people using LVAD for bridge to heart transplant, we help coordinate care through one of our collaborating sites offering heart transplant.

Treats these conditions

LVAD can reduce your symptoms and help you stay mobile if you have:

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