LVAD — Left Ventricular Assist Device — is a mechanical apparatus that circulates blood throughout the body when the heart is too weak to pump blood on its own. It is sometimes called a “heart pump” or “VAD.” HeartMate II is a miniaturized implantable LVAD that represents a breakthrough in medical technology. Albany Medical Center was the first hospital in Northeastern New York implanting the device which has rapidly become the most widely used device of its kind in the world.
An LVAD is not an artificial heart, nor is it a heart replacement. The patient’s native heart is not removed. HeartMate II attaches to the heart and is designed to assist — or take over — the pumping function of the patient’s left ventricle-the main pumping chamber of the heart.
The left ventricular assist device, or LVAD is providing Ruth a greatly improved quality of life. The device, which the patient carries in a bag, assists the heart in pumping blood. Ruth, and some of our other LVAD patients, share what this device means to them and their families.
Greg woke up one night with his heart and lungs failing. He was brought to Albany Med’s Cardio Pulmonary Surgery Unit in extremely critical condition. He was diagnosed, had three surgeries, and now, recovered, is making plans to go back to college.