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Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

If you have heart failure and are not responding to standard therapy, your doctor may recommend advanced treatment options such as heart transplant or a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).

An Accredited LVAD Program in Western Massachusetts

Baystate Health’s LVAD program has been accredited by The Joint Commission since 2016. This accreditation shows our commitment to delivering high-quality care. Our LVAD team is made up of specialists from various disciplines who work together to ensure the best possible results for you.

An LVAD is a mechanical pump that’s surgically implanted inside your chest to help your heart do its job. The device is placed in your heart’s left ventricular and pumps blood from the weakened left side of your heart to the rest of your body. When the pump is implanted, it’s connected to a controller outside of your body. An LVAD needs to be connected to a power source at all times, whether that means being plugged into an outlet or using its battery pack.

LVADs may be used as “destination therapy,” meaning they are considered long-term treatment for heart failure. Or they may be considered “bridge-to-transplant therapy,” meaning they are placed temporarily until heart transplant becomes an option.

If you have questions about LVADs, call 413-794-8452. To speak with a Baystate heart failure specialist, please call 413-794-CARE (2273).

Are You a Good Fit for LVAD Surgery?

You are a good candidate for an LVAD if you have symptoms of advanced heart failure, including:

  • The left side of your heart is very dilated and weakened.
  • The right side of your heart functions well enough to support the device.
  • Your heart condition limits your quality of life.

You must be healthy enough to have surgery. It also helps if you have support from friends and family.

Types of LVADs

Baystate Health’s heart surgeons and cardiologists are highly skilled at the LVAD procedure.

They will select the most appropriate LVAD device for your condition. At Baystate, we typically use either the HeartMate II LVAD or HeartMate 3 LVAD.

Your LVAD Team

Baystate’s LVAD team includes interdisciplinary specialists who work collaboratively to ensure safe, successful results. Your team may include:

  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiothoracic surgeons
  • LVAD coordinators
  • Social workers
  • Nutritionists
  • Cardiac rehab staff
  • Physical therapists

What to Expect from Surgery

Your heart care team at Baystate will work closely with you to help you understand your condition and LVAD surgery. Our goal for you is a safe surgery that improves your quality of life and offers relief from the symptoms of heart failure.

Before surgery, you will receive many tests. Our team will also educate you and your caregivers about the procedure and living with an LVAD.

On the day of your surgery, you will be admitted to the CARE (cardiac assessment, recovery, and evaluation) unit at Baystate Medical Center’s Davis Family Heart and Vascular Center. While you’re in surgery, your family is welcome to wait in our comfortable family lounge. After surgery, you will begin recovery in the Davis Family Heart & Vascular Intensive Care Unit.

You will have regular checkups to let your doctor assess your condition and look for any complications. Your doctor may recommend Baystate’s cardiovascular rehabilitation program, which can help you return to your regular activities and prevent complications.