Bridge to Transplant

Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) can help patients awaiting a heart transplant stabilize or improve, enabling them to live productive lives at home while waiting for a heart donor.

What is a VAD?

VADs consist of three main parts: an electric pump, an electronic control system, and a power supply.


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(credit: Thoratec Corporation)

Electric Pump

The electric pump is implanted in the upper part of the abdominal wall and connected to the heart at two points. A tube carries blood from the left ventricle to the pump. The blood is then pumped through a second tube to the aorta, and distributed throughout the body.

Electronic Control System

The electronic control system is the "brain" of the VAD and controls its functioning. It is worn outside the body and connected to a tube (with wires inside) that goes into the body and is connected to the electric pump.

Power Supply

The third part is a power supply (rechargeable batteries) that is connected to the electronic control system and powers the VAD. Patients wear the electronic control system on a belt and the batteries on a vest-like shoulder holster.

Devices in Use Today

The following devices are used to bridge patients to transplant:

  • Thoratec HeartMate II – This VAD features a small size that makes it suitable for a wide range of patients, including those of smaller stature. It is currently the gold standard. Learn Nore
  • HeartMate XVE ® (also known as HeartMate® I) – The HeartMate XVE is the only VAD for patients needing intermediate to chronic circulatory support that does not require the use of anticlotting drugs.
  • Thoratec IVADTM – The Thoratec Implantable Ventricular Assist Device provides assistance to the left, right, or both ventricles. It provides support for patients who require intermediate to chronic circulatory support.Learn More
  • Thoratec PVADTM – The Thoratec Paracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device provides assistance to the left, right, or both ventricles. It provides support for patients of virtually any size who require acute to intermediate circulatory support. Learn more

Contact

TO FIND A DOCTOR

877-NYP-WELL (877-697-9355)