Transplant Center

What is a Ventricular Assist Device?

Important advance in treatment options for heart failure patients

HeartMateA ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical device that is used to take over the pumping function for one or both of the heart’s ventricles. A VAD may be necessary when heart failure progresses to the point that medications and other treatments are no longer effective.

For persons with severe or end-stage heart failure, ventricular assist devices (VADs) may be required to support the heart in order to ensure an adequate cardiac output (amount of blood pumped out by the heart per minute) to meet the body’s needs.

Heart transplantation is an option for some patients with severe heart failure (HF), but during this late stage of HF, over 50 percent of persons on a waiting list for heart transplantation will die before receiving a donor heart. Organ donors are in short supply and do not meet the demand for patients waiting for heart transplant. The wait time for heart transplantation may often exceed 200 days.

Long wait times and decreased availability of donors strengthens the need to seek other methods to support the failing heart. Patients may die waiting for a heart transplant or their important organs such as the liver and kidney may become permanently damaged before a donor heart is available. VADs have shown to maintain adequate blood circulation in cases of severe HF.

Some VADs are designed to support the right heart alone (right ventricular assist device, or RVAD) or both ventricles (biventricular assist device, or BiVAD), but commonly the left ventricle (left ventricular support device, or LVAD) is the primary point of support. VADs are most commonly implanted during an open-heart surgical procedure. VADs can be used for just a few hours or days of support or as a longer-term support, months to years.

Feras M. Bader, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (801) 585-5122

Specialties: Cardiology, Echocardiography, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

David A. Bull, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 581-5311

Specialties: Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Revascularization, Esophageal Surgery, Heart Transplant, Lung Cancer, Lung Transplant, Valvular Heart Disease

Stavros G. Drakos, M.D., Ph.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-5122
University Hospital (801) 585-3693

Specialties: Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Aaron W. Eckhauser, M.D., M.S.C.I

Specialties: Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Transplant, Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery

Lynette Evans, APRN, B.S.N.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (801) 585-5122

Specialties: Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

James C. Fang, M.D.

Locations
Redstone Health Center (801) 585-7676
South Jordan Health Center (801) 585-7676
University Hospital (801) 585-7676

Specialties: Cardiology, General Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Jacob Fetzer, PA-C

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (801) 585-5122

Specialties: Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Physician Assistant

Edward Michael Gilbert, M.D.

Locations
Billings Clinic (800) 332-7156
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (208) 367-4278
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (801) 585-5122
Veterans Administration Medical Center (801) 584-1235

Specialties: Cardiology, Echocardiography, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Stephen McKellar, M.D., M.Sc.

Specialties: Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Revascularization, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Lung Transplant, Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Minimally Invasive Lung & Esophageal Surgery, Valvular Heart Disease

Kimberly M. Molina, M.D.

Locations
Primary Children's Hospital (801) 662-5400

Specialties: Echocardiography, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Pediatric Cardiology

Jose Nativi-Nicolau, M.D.

Locations
Billings Clinic (800) 332-7156
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (208) 367-4278
University Hospital (801) 585-5122
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
Veterans Administration Medical Center (801) 584-1235

Specialties: Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Amit N. Patel, M.D., B.S., M.S.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 587-7946

Specialties: Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Failure, Heart Stem Cell Therapy, Heart Transplant, Lung Transplant, Valvular Heart Disease

Craig H. Selzman, M.D.

Locations
University Hospital (801) 587-9348

Specialties: Adult Congenital Heart Disease, Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Coronary Revascularization, Heart Failure, Heart Stem Cell Therapy, Heart Transplant, Lung Transplant, Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery, Surgical Ventricular Restoration, Valvular Heart Disease

Josef Stehlik, M.D., M.P.H.

Locations
Billings Clinic (800) 332-7156
Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center (208) 367-4278
University Hospital (801) 585-5122
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
Veterans Administration Medical Center (801) 584-1235

Specialties: Cardiac Mechanical Support, Cardiology, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant

Jill Stratford Waldron, M.S., APRN

Locations
University Hospital (801) 585-3693
University Hospital (801) 585-5122

Specialties: Cardiology, Geriatrics, Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, Heart Failure, Heart Transplant, Nurse Practitioner

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