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Heart & Vascular Center

Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD)

Heart failure patients who are not candidates for heart transplantation or other types of surgery ultimately reach a very poor quality of life. Our surgeons are actively involved in using mechanical assist devices as both temporary and permanent solutions for this group of seriously ill patients. 

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump-type device that is surgically attached to the heart. It helps pump blood in a heart that can no longer function on its own.

The Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Heart & Vascular Center is one of the leading centers in the country for use of left ventricular assist devices as a bridge or alternative to transplant. This device can improve quality and length of life for heart failure patients.

LVADs have become smaller and more mechanically reliable over the past decade and are capable of providing years of support to patients with advanced heart failure. The cardiac surgeons at the Barnes-Jewish & Washington University Heart & Vascular Center have been involved in many of the pivotal clinical trials that have proven the benefit of these devices. They are the only group in the St. Louis area approved by the federal Medicare program to permanently implant left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) to help those suffering from end-stage heart failure. The program implanted more than 100 LVADs last year and has more than 120 patients that are actively supported.


VAD statistics

To make an appointment with a Washington University heart or vascular specialist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, call .

Larry Bonds, patient story

Larry Bonds knows he’s a lucky man. He’s made it through several major heart-related health issues, including technically dying twice. He’s also a heart transplant recipient—and it saved his life.

 

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