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LVAD Surgery: Do you need it for your heart?

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LVAD Surgery: Do you need it for your heart?

Cardiology | by Dr. Shuvo Dutta | Published on 14/02/2022


India, a dynamic country has enchanted the world with its captivating smiles, fragrances, and scenery for centuries along with its heartwarming hospitality. However, India’s own implacable heart is at risk now. According to the Times of India, heart attacks kill one person every 33 seconds in India, with 52 percent of all cardiovascular fatalities occurring before the age of 70. Heart failure is one of the serious conditions that we should be aware of. It can be proved fatal if not treated at the right time. As suggested by the best heart doctor, such patients should undergo a heart transplant i.e. offered at the best cardiac center in Kolkata. You can book your appointment with BM Birla Heart Research Centre in Kolkata, the only cardiac hospital in the Eastern region. 

A heart transplant is often considered a last-resort treatment for heart failure patients. However, finding a donor for such patients demands a long waiting time and has to consider other factors before getting successful heart transplantation. Here’s where LVAD surgery comes in as a bridge to heart transplant surgery. Unlike a heart transplant, LVAD does not replace the damaged heart; instead, it aids its normal function. Patients who are waiting for a heart transplant have found LVADs to be a lifesaver. But before opting for such a device, you should know what it entails.

What is LVAD surgery?

LVAD or left ventricular assist device is known as a mechanical device or pump used by healthcare providers for patients who have experienced heart failure. The device assists in pumping blood to the left ventricle or lower left heart’s chamber out of the aorta ventricle and throughout the body. It is known as a left ventricular assist device as it assists the left ventricle. It plays a vital role aorta can send blood that is rich in oxygen throughout the body. Humans cannot live with a steady oxygen supply to the tissues and cells.

What are the Benefits of the Left Ventricular Assist device procedure?

One of the primary benefits of left ventricular assist devices is that people having the device can live their lives longer than those who consider receiving medical therapy only. The device not only helps in improving the blood flow throughout the body but here are other benefits of LVAD: 

  • Enhances the kidney, liver, brain, including other bodily functions
  • Diminishes the symptoms like breath shortness, swelling, and fatigue
  • Augments the strength and capability to be involved in activities like cardiac rehabilitation

How does a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) work?

In heart failure patients the main pumping chamber or the left atrium of our heart gets diseased. And the LV(left ventricle) is unable to pump blood into the rest of our body. So, our heart needs mechanical assistance from the outside to keep beating. During the waiting period for a donor's heart, the LVAD(Left Ventricular Assist Device) helps in maintaining the continuous blood flow into your heart and throughout your body as well.

  • This is an electronic device that comprises a mechanical pump.
  • The pump is implanted inside the chest or abdomen and takes over the job of the weak left ventricle. You can find some of the best heart doctors practicing LVAD surgery in Kolkata.
  • The blood flows from the left ventricle through an inflow tube to the pump.
  • The pump pushes the blood through an outflow tube to the aorta(the main artery)
  • From the aorta, the blood flows normally to the rest of your body and supplies oxygen and nutrition to the other parts as well.

When should you consider having LVAD surgery?

LVAD can be used as a temporary and permanent treatment option as well. Your doctor might recommend LVAD for you if-

  • You are waiting for a donor’s heart. And they will remove this after having a heart transplant surgery.
  • You are not eligible for a heart transplant because of age or other factors. Your doctor may suggest LVAD as destination therapy(final treatment option) i.e. you might have to live with an LVAD device kept in a patient pack attached to your body.
  • You have had temporary heart failure. In this scenario, your doctor will recommend you for getting LVAD, until your heart is working fine.
  • There is a possibility of damage recovery of your diseased heart. LVAD can reduce the workload for your heart whilst the damage healing.

What are the risks of a Left Ventricular Assist Device?

It is vital to know that every surgical procedure comes with risk and so is a left ventricular assist device. Your doctor will ensure that you talk about the risks that are related to this surgery and how they can assist you in mitigating them. Here are some of the common risks:

  • Right heart failure 
  • Malfunction of a left ventricular assist device
  • Kidney injury 
  • Failure of right heart 
  • Blood clots and stroke
  • Infections


If you are not able to comprehend whether you must consider LVAD or not, then know that it is a personal choice. For a better understanding, you must get in touch with your doctor and understand the benefits or risks that are linked to LVAD. Try gaining as much information as you can because it will help you in making informed decisions for your heart.