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Center for Heart & Vascular Health

Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), advanced technology for heart failure patients

Technological innovation is changing treatment for heart failure, and ChristianaCare has brought it closer to home.

There are only about 2,000 heart transplants a year in the United States. For those with heart failure who can’t get a transplant, there are few long-term options. One of those options is called LVAD, which stands for left-ventricular assist device.

ChristianaCare is the only health system in Delaware to offer LVAD, the most advanced treatment short of transplant for people with heart failure.

People with advanced heart failure have often reached their maximum doses of medications and may have undergone coronary bypass or valve operations. For patients, the LVAD can represent a bridge to heart transplantation, a bridge to recovery or a destination therapy if transplantation is not an option.

The battery-powered LVAD device is implanted during open heart surgery and replaces the pumping action of the heart. The latest LVAD is smaller, more durable and improves quality of life for patients in multiple ways.

At least one support person must learn how to take care of the device and the patient, and must join the patient for weekly hospital visits after the surgery.

LVAD benefits include:

ChristianaCare’s Left Ventricular Assist Device Program (LVAD) was launched in 2011. LVAD is part of a comprehensive Heart Failure Program at the Center for Heart & Vascular Health that allows patients to receive tests, medications, stress management, nutrition counseling and other high-quality care without having to leave the state.

The LVAD team is available to answer your questions. For more information contact the LVAD coordinator at 855-VAD-CCHS (855-823-2247). (Current LVAD patients should press option 1, to make an appointment with a heart failure physician press option 2, if you would like more information on the LVAD program, press option 3.)

Additional Resources

ChristianaCare Center for Heart & Vascular Health
Christiana Hospital
4755 Ogletown-Stanton Road, Newark, DE 19718 directions