When the heart is too weak to pump blood independently, a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) can help circulate blood throughout the body. It is implanted through open-heart surgery.
LVAD is designed to help people who have exhausted the limitations of medical therapies.
It can also help people suffering a recent onset of heart failure for various reasons, such as a virus or postpartum cardiomyopathy.
After having an LVAD put in, people often find they have more energy than ever and can get back to doing the things they enjoyed before their heart condition slowed them down.
People with advanced heart failure who have an LVAD tend to live longer than those who are treated with medical therapy alone.
We take a multi-disciplinary approach to your advanced heart failure needs, and specialists help you deal with the impacts on your social, emotional and physical health.
The experienced team of surgeons and advanced heart failure cardiologists, plus a transplant coordinator on call 24/7, guide you through this journey of referral to LVAD.
To learn if you qualify for LVAD at OSF Saint Francis, you need a physician's referral to the advanced heart failure specialists at OSF Cardiovascular Institute.
You will need to complete a series of consultations and testing to determine your candidacy. You will also receive psychosocial and financial counseling in addition to LVAD education.
You and your caregivers will have every opportunity to learn what you need to know and ask questions about the procedure itself and what to expect afterward.
Once the tests and evaluations are complete, the LVAD team meets to review your case to determine if an LVAD device is safe and appropriate for you.
Your cardiologist will inform you of the committee's decision and alternate therapies if you are not an LVAD candidate.
Currently, none of the VAD’s we implant will allow you to submerge underwater.
You can shower when you get permission from your surgeon. You will have to protect the external VAD equipment and driveline site as directed by your VAD coordinator.
Yes, you may resume sexual activity once you have recovered from your surgery.