You may benefit from a ventricular assist device (VAD) if your heart doesn't work well because of heart disease. Heart disease can prevent your heart from pumping enough blood to your body.
A VAD can help support your heart:
- During or after surgery, until your heart recovers.
- While you're waiting for a heart transplant.
- If you're not eligible for a heart transplant. (A VAD can be a long-term solution to help your heart work better.)
Short-Term Ventricular Assist Devices
A VAD can support heart function and blood flow for a short time before, during, and/or after heart surgery until your heart recovers. Your doctor may recommend a short-term VAD if you have a severe heart condition, such as heart failure, a ventricular arrhythmia, or cardiogenic shock.
You also might use a VAD if you have heart failure and your doctors need more time to plan your treatment.
Long-Term Ventricular Assist Devices
If you have heart failure and are waiting for a heart transplant, your doctor may recommend a VAD. If heart failure medicines aren't working well, a VAD can keep you alive and improve your quality of life while you wait for a donor heart.
If you're not eligible for a heart transplant, a VAD might be a long-term treatment option. It can improve your quality of life and allow you to do many daily activities.
When Are Ventricular Assist Devices Not Recommended?
VADs might not be a treatment option for people who have certain serious health conditions. Examples of these conditions include severe kidney failure, serious brain injuries, severe infections, and other life-threatening conditions.