Harvard Heart Letter

What's new with the LVAD?

The left ventricular assist device continues to find new roles in the treatment of advanced heart failure.

The left ventricular assist device (LVAD) had its moment in the media spotlight in 2010 when former Vice President Dick Cheney received the miniature implantable unit to boost his weak heart function until he became eligible for a transplant. But the expanding role of the LVAD in the treatment of people seriously ill with heart failure goes well beyond the machine's brief star turn. Over the next few years, the LVAD is poised to become the most frequently used surgical treatment for advanced heart failure, likely surpassing the number of heart transplants.

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