Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a surgically implanted cardiac assist mechanism which essentially acts mechanically like the heart. One cannula sits in the left ventricle which pulls blood out of the body into its chamber where it pumps blood to the second cannula inserted into the aorta.

  1. Post-operative cardiogenic shock (not able to be weaned from cardiopulmonary bypass)
  2. Back-up in patients undergoing high risk surgical procedures
  3. Massive myocardial infarction without other therapeutic options
  4. Severe cardiac decompensation (regardless of cause) such as progression of a non-ischemic cardiomyopathy
  5. Bridge to transplantation
  6. Chronic heart failure with a poor prognosis that are not a transplant candidate (LVAD implantation in this situation is termed “destination therapy” since their final destination is not transplant, but they will have the LVAD until death).