What are the benefits of LVAD?

By increasing blood flow to the body, the LVAD improves the function of the kidneys, liver, brain and other organs; improves the patient’s strength and ability to participate in activities such as cardiac rehabilitation; and allows the patient to be discharged from the hospital.

Greater life expectancy

Patients with advanced heart failure who have an LVAD tend to live longer than those who are treated with medical therapy alone.

Better quality of life

An LVAD can help patients with advanced heart failure take part in activities that were not possible before the implant.

Fewer symptoms of heart failure

An LVAD can help improve and reduce symptoms of heart failure, such as shortness of breath, excess fluid and fatigue. This helps patients feel better and take part in daily activities and avoid hospitalization for heart failure.

Outcomes at Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is one of the most experienced centers in the nation for LVADs, with more than 25 years of experience and lower-than expected rates of in-hospital deaths for patients who receive these devices.

What are the risks of LVAD?

There are risks with every surgery. Your doctor will talk to you about the risks that are specific to LVAD surgery and how we help reduce them.

Some of the most common risks are:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots and stroke
  • Bleeding
  • Right heart failure
  • Kidney injury
  • LVAD malfunction

Special precautions are taken to decrease these risks. When you meet with your doctor, please ask questions to make sure you understand why the procedure is recommended and the potential risks of the procedure.

Advance Directives

We encourage you to create advance directives to let your doctor and others know your wishes concerning medical treatment in the event that you become unable to communicate your wishes.

If you already have advance directives, please review these documents to make sure that they still reflect your preferences if you are e a candidate for LVAD therapy.

Please share information about your advance directives with your surgical team.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/03/2019.

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