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About the Left Ventricular Assist Device

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a mechanical device that is surgically implanted in the body to help a heart that has been weakened by heart failure or cardiogenic shock to pump blood through the body. It is designed for people with advanced heart failure who are currently awaiting a heart transplant or those who are not transplant candidates.

Video: Making Heart Failure a Manageable Condition

At NYU Langone’s LVAD Program, our team offers commercially available long-term devices. In recent years, LVADs have become smaller, quieter, and more portable, significantly improving the quality of life for patients.

Your cardiac specialist performs an extensive medical evaluation to determine your eligibility for an LVAD. Prior to surgery, our experts explain the details of LVAD surgery and provide information on your recovery and rehabilitation plan.

Our Surgical Expertise

Our heart failure surgeons are specially trained and certified to implant LVADs. The devices are implanted and connected to the left ventricle, or bottom left heart chamber, and the aorta, the main artery leaving the heart. A cable that powers the pump exits the body through the abdomen and connects to a controller and battery packs, which are recharged nightly.

When the surgery is complete, the LVAD takes over the pumping function of the left side of the heart, working in tandem with the right side of the heart to pump blood through your body.

Recovering from LVAD Surgery

The procedure to implant an LVAD takes place at Kimmel Pavilion in Manhattan or NYU Langone Hospital—Long Island in Mineola. After surgery, your recovery begins in the intensive care unit, where our cardiac experts monitor your health. As you regain strength, you may begin physical therapy with rehabilitation experts from NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation. Your hospital stay may last from two to four weeks.