A ventricular assist device (VAD), also known as a heart pump, is a mechanical device
that helps pump blood from the heart to the rest of your body.
This picture shows one type of a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD). This device
pulls blood from the left ventricle and pumps it to the aorta and the rest of the
body. Other types of VADs pull blood from the right ventricle or both ventricles and
pump it to the rest of the body. The heart still pumps some blood on its own. But
the VAD helps the heart pump blood better.
A VAD can be implanted inside the body or worn outside the body. If it is implanted,
surgery is done to place it in the chest area.
The pump part of the VAD is placed in a small space in your upper abdomen. The pump
is connected to a control system by a thin cable, also called a lead or driveline.
This cable comes out of your belly through a small cut in your skin called an exit
The pump part of a VAD can be implanted, but the VAD battery packs and control system
are worn outside the body. The battery packs and control system can be worn on a shoulder
strap and belt.
Current as of: April 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & David C. Stuesse, MD - Cardiac and Thoracic Surgery
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