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Left Ventricular Assist Devices

For patients with advanced congestive heart failure who are no longer responding to medications, a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) may be a treatment option. This surgically implanted pump is designed to circulate blood throughout the body, taking over much of the work of the patient’s own heart.

An LVAD may be used as a bridge to heart transplant, or as a primary treatment, known as destination therapy, for advanced heart failure patients not eligible for heart transplantation. This means that some patients will live with an LVAD for a number of years before undergoing heart transplantation, while others live with the LVAD for the rest of their lives. Clinical trials have demonstrated that LVADs extend and significantly improve a patient’s quality of life.

The Heart and Vascular Center at Yale New Haven Hospital is one of the most experienced LVAD centers in the Northeastern United States, with cardiothoracic surgeons and advanced heart failure cardiologists on staff with numerous years of experience in the implantation and long-term care of patients with LVADs. Our LVAD patients are also cared for by a multidisciplinary team of expert nursing and support staff. Given the complexity of the device, the LVAD team often becomes a primary medical resource for patients.

Yale New Haven Hospital is certified by The Joint Commission, the nation’s predominant standards-setting and accrediting body in health care, to implant left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) into patients with end-stage heart failure.

For more information on LVAD therapy, please call our advanced heart failure team at 203-785-7191. Early referrals and evaluations are recommended to give patients the best chance for success.