Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

The INTEGRIS Advanced Cardiac Care program offers heart assist devices to give end-stage heart patients the opportunity to live more complete, normal and active lives while living with end-stage heart failure.

What is a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)?

The LVAD is an implantable device that helps the weakened heart pump blood to the rest of the body. The electric pump receives battery power through a cable that exits the patient’s side (abdomen). The wearable batteries are connected to a small computer (controller) that runs the pump and sends messages about the pumps operations.

Who gets an LVAD?

The LVAD is designed to meet the needs of two different types oif patients:

  • Bridge-to-transplant
    Bridge-to-transplant patients have an LVAD device implanted while on the wait list for a heart transplant
  • Destination therapy
    Destination therapy patients are not candidates for heart transplant surgery. An LVAD is implanted in these patients to support the patient’s heart function and improve quality of life for the rest of the patient’s life.

What are the benefits of an LVAD?

By increasing blood flow to the body, vital organs such as the liver, kidneys and brain can improve their function. With this improved function, the patient will regain strength and be able to participate in activities that were difficult prior.

  • Longer life Expectancy
    In contrast to receiving medical therapy alone, patients with an LVAD tend to live longer.
  • Improved quality of life
    Patients with an LVAD feel stronger and usually return to activities that they enjoyed doing before they were diagnosed with heart failure.
  • Fewer symptoms of heart failure
    Heart Failure that plagued patients before their LVAD device such as shortness of breath, fluid overload and fatigue are improved. Most patients feel better and heart failure hospitalizations are decreased.

What will life be like on the LVAD?

Life with an LVAD has few restrictions. We encourage exercise, travel, and other activities that patients enjoyed before receiving a device. You will follow-up with our LVAD clinic at certain intervals post implant to ensure you are recovering well. A loved one or caregiver will need to care for the site on your abdomen where your power cord exits to ensure it does not get infected. You will need to keep track of your battery power and ensure your equipment is always in good working order.

Staying Healthy

It is very important that you make healthy lifestyle changes before and after the LVAD implant. These include:

  • Stop using tobacco
  • Drink alcohol in moderation
  • Do not use illegal drugs
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise as tolerated
  • Take your medicine as ordered
  • Complete your lab work as ordered
  • Call the LVAD clinic when you have any questions

Devices used  at INTEGRIS Health

More Information on our LVAD Program

INTEGRIS Advanced Cardiac Care Featured on Fox 25

In 2014, INTEGRIS Health was honored to be the first health system in the nation to implant the Heartmate 3 Left Ventricular Assist System

Connections - A Big Heart

HeartMate 3 Receives FDA Approval

Heart Failure Resources

INTEGRIS Hosts Oscars for Oklahomans Living with Heart Pumps



Dr. David Nelson explains how a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) works.
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