LVAD Heart Pump

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 11:03am

Newly approved heart assistance device helped keep a man alive.

Two months ago Dave Morey arrived at a hospital, fairly knocking on heaven's gate.His congestive heart failure was so advanced, he'd run out of options. But cardiologist Dr. Mark Tallman had another idea.

Rather than let Morey languish and grow even weaker while waiting for a heart, he turned to the Heartmate II, approved just a year ago. It's the latest in LVAD technology. LVAD is short for left ventricular assist device. It helps the heart's left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart, deliver blood to the rest of the body.

LVADs have been around since the mid-1990s but they were larger and had more working parts with more chance for trouble.The plumbing parts of the Heartmate II are implanted.The rest of the hardware, including the controller, is worn outside the body.Because the Heartmate II LVAD lasts years, it can be what's called a destination device, one you wear forever, rather than being a bridge to transplant.

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