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Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device

Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device:  Diagnosis, Treatments | National Heart Centre Singapore

Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device - Symptoms

Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device - How to prevent?

Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device - Causes and Risk Factors

Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device - Treatments

The surgery 

During the surgery to implant a VAD, depending on the choice of the device, a surgeon may create a pocket in the muscle under the heart. The main pump is tucked into this pocket. Tubes are then connected from the failing left ventricle to the pump and from the pump to the aorta. Once the device is activated, blood is pumped out of the left ventricle and flows into the aorta. 

The pump is also connected to a drive line, or cable, that exits the body through the right side of the abdomen. The drive line links to the computer that controls the pump and batteries that the patient must charge regularly. 

Until recently, patients with small body sizes  did not  have enough space to accommodate the older pump models which are larger. With better technology, we can now offer these patients newer, miniaturised heart pumps. Small-built patients can also be supported with external devices where the only internal hardware is the tubes connecting to the heart. 

Implantation of a VAD involves open-heart surgery. A general anaesthetic is given so that the patient will sleep through the entire operation. The patient will be connected to a heart-lung machine, which will take over the pumping action of the heart and ensures the body continues to receive a flow of oxygen-rich blood during the surgery. 

Mechanical Heart Assist Device/ Ventricular Assist Device - Preparing for surgery

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