Because healthy hearts that are appropriate for transplantation are rare, the medical community has turned to advanced technology to find different ways to treat patients with heart failure. An LVAD is a mechanical circulatory assist device that helps pump blood from the failing heart into the aorta. It often helps reduce the number of repeat hospitalizations for patients with serious heart disease.
MedStar Health heart surgeons implant LVADs while the patient waits for a transplant, allowing the patient to strengthen the heart and body through physical therapy. These devices may also be used for short-term purposes, allowing the heart to rest long enough so that it can recuperate and return to normal, independent function.
At MedStar Heart Institute at MedStar Washington Hospital Center, one of our heart surgeons, Steven W. Boyce, MD, was the first surgeon in the United States to implant a new battery-sized artificial assist device into a patient. Always on the cutting-edge of advanced heart technology, the hospital is currently participating in a clinical trial to examine patients’ health while using these devices.