Before you get a ventricular assist device (VAD), you'll spend some time in the hospital to prepare for the surgery. You might already be in the hospital getting treatment for heart failure.
During this time, you'll learn about the VAD and how to live with it. You and your caregivers will spend time with your surgeon, cardiologist (heart specialist), and nurses to make sure you have all the information you need about the VAD.
Before and after the surgery, you and your caregivers will learn:
You can ask to see what the device looks like and how it will be attached inside your body. You also may meet with someone who already has a VAD. This person can answer questions about what it feels like to have a VAD and how to live with the device.
Your doctors will make sure that your body is strong enough for the surgery. If your doctors think your body is too weak, you may need to get extra nutrition through a feeding tube before surgery.
You also may have tests to make sure you're ready for surgery. These tests include:
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Ventricular Assist Device, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
December 9, 2013
Gary H. Gibbons
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