Heart failure is a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to fulfil the body’s demands. In rare circumstances, the heart is unable to provide enough blood. In addition, the heart cannot sufficiently pump blood to the rest of the body in some cases.
The Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump surgically implanted and connected to the heart. An LVAD is not the same as an artificial heart. An artificial heart surgery replaces the failing heart, whereas an LVAD surgery works alongside the heart to help it pump more blood with less effort. Doctors accomplish this via continually transferring blood from the left ventricle to the aorta, transporting oxygen-rich blood to the whole body.
Details on LVAD:
The Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is a mechanical pump surgically implanted and connected to the heart.
Obtaining a ventricular assist device sometimes necessitates open-heart surgery. LVAD surgery typically lasts three to four hours, and patients can anticipate the following:
- Medications through IV to remain unconscious for a pain-free surgery.
- Connection to a machine that helps patients breathe (a ventilator) during the operation
- Medications to stop your heart during surgery and hooking the patient to a heart-lung bypass machine to maintain oxygen-rich blood flowing through the body during surgery.
Both internal and external components make up the LVAD. The pump rests on or near the heart’s left ventricle, with a connected tube that sends blood to the aorta. A driveline cable runs from the pump through the skin and links the pump to a controller and power sources worn outside the body.
Doctors ensure proper driveline connection to the controller, and the controller requires power at all times. Also, specialists may use batteries or electricity to operate the pump. Each item comes with its carrying case, allowing you to move about freely.
What Happens after the LVAD Surgery?
After the LVAD implantation, patients must ensure constantly linking to the LVAD external controller and power source. For instance, when patients are active, the gadget will be on battery power, and while sleeping, it will require electrical power.
Patients should keep a spare controller and fully charged batteries (and power cords, if required) on hand as an emergency backup.
The LVAD’s lightness allows one to walk around freely, undertake mild exercises and engage in intimate moments. Patients may also be able to drive depending on your medical team’s advice and policies.
More than 28,000 LVADs have been implanted worldwide, with 10,000 patients currently using the device. More than 500 of these individuals have been using this gadget for more than ten years.
Heart Failure Risk Factors
Heart failure can occur due to conditions that affect or overstretch the heart muscles. The heart gradually weakens over time. It cannot fill with or pump blood as it should. In addition, a few proteins and chemicals may be released into the bloodstream when the heart weakens. These drugs are hazardous to the heart and blood flow and exacerbate heart failure.
Heart failure can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Coronary artery disease
- The blood pressure is too high.
- Heart valve disease, for example, is another illness or disease that affects the heart.
- An arrhythmia occurs when there is difficulty with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat.
- Cardiomyopathy occurs when the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thickened, or inflexible.
- Congenital heart defects- Issues in the heart’s structure at birth.
- Alcoholism, drug usage, or HIV/AIDS infection
- Thyroid problems, such as thyrotoxicosis, are common.
Patients concerned about undergoing LVAD surgery should talk to a specialist to discuss what the procedure will be like, including complications.