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A ventricular assist device is a pumping device that is used to help a heart that can no longer pump blood effectively due to heart failure. This device is surgically implanted in the chest. External components allow the device to be controlled and monitored. Patients with heart failure may have one of these devices implanted while they await a heart transplant.
A common type of ventricular assist device is a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) which is shown in these illustrations. A LVAD has a tube that pulls blood from the left ventricle and then pumps the blood into the aorta to assist the weakened left side of the heart.
Other types of ventricular assist devices include right ventricular assist devices (RVAD) and biventricular assist devices (BiVAD). These devices assist the right side of the heart and both sides of the heart respectively. VADs can be used in-hospital, as well as ambulatory as bridge-to-transplant or destination therapy.
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