Ventricular assist devices

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Duke’s heart failure team is rated high performing in the U.S. for implanting ventricular assist devices (VAD), with survival rates that exceed the national average. Surgeons in our nationally ranked heart center implant and maintain the most advanced heart pumps available. Our experience gives you more options for symptom relief, increases your heart function, and improves your quality of life.

Heart pumps improve heart function

If heart failure has weakened your heart, you may be a candidate for a ventricular assist device (VAD). This mechanical heart pump can support your heart and optimize your blood flow after heart attack or heart surgery, or while you’re waiting for a heart transplant. It can also be a long-term solution if you have heart failure and are not a candidate for a heart transplant. Today’s smaller, portable, more reliable heart pumps make VADs an option for more people.

Our specialists are among the most experienced in the nation, and have the knowledge to determine which device is right for you. We were one of the first centers in the Southeast to offer the left ventricular assist device as a destination therapy to patients who are not eligible for heart transplant, and also as a temporary bridge alternative for patients awaiting a transplant. If you require advanced heart failure treatment, we can evaluate your condition and recommend the best approach for you. Plus, we continue to advance device technology through our clinical trials.

Choose Duke Heart Center for your heart pump implant because we offer:

  • Top-ranked care. U.S. News and World Report ranks Duke Heart Center 5th in the nation, based on our patients’ survival rates, the number of procedures we perform, and the quality of our support services.
  • Access to novel heart pumps sooner. We offer access to the next generation of smaller, more efficient ventricular assist devices before they are available elsewhere. This includes the first temporary ventricular assist device to be implanted in the right side of the heart, and the newest device, the HeartWare, which is currently being evaluated as a destination therapy.
  • Leading expertise. As leaders in the field, we help set the standard of care nationwide by sharing our expertise with surgeons and medical teams across the U.S. We are one of only eight centers nationwide to offer FDA-mandated training for the HeartMate II heart pump, the only device currently approved as a destination therapy.
  • Long-term management of implanted heart pumps. We are committed to ensuring your ventricular assist device functions optimally now and in the future, as well as providing the resources you need to achieve optimal heart function. At our heart failure clinic, you’ll have access to experienced heart failure, electrophysiology and echocardiography specialists who are trained to recognize and correct issues that arise. You will also work with cardiologists, nurses and support staff who are experienced in helping you manage the day-to-day challenges of living with a heart pump.

Before implantation

Surgery and follow up

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