HEART TRANSPLANT AND VAD THERAPY
I trained in a large volume heart transplant centre in Manchester, UK (Wythenshawe Hospital) where I undertook extensive work in assessing patients with end-stage heart failure for further intervention.
This will be in the form of 2 distinct approaches
1 group of patients will be suitable for heart transplant surgery and will be assessed for the same. This includes a rigorous set of tests to evaluate the need for and suitability of individual patients for a heart transplant.
The other approach is to implant a mechanical circulatory support device called the Ventricular Assist Device (VADs) to supplement or substitute the function of the failing heart.
A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a mechanical pump. When one of the heart’s natural pumps (a ventricle) does not perform well, a VAD is used to increase the amount of blood that flows through the body. Having a VAD implant allows most people with advanced heart failure to return to a fuller life.
This may be either supporting one of the ventricles (left or right ventricle) and called the LVAD or RVAD or it may be needed to support both the ventricles- called the BIVAD.
VADs can be used as a temporary measure until the heart recovers (Bridge to recovery) or until the patient receives a new heart (waiting for a transplant)- Bridge to transplant.
Increasingly VADs are being looked upon as a long term treatment option for patients suffering from severe heart failure- this is called DESTINATION THERAPY with VAD.