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Norton Audubon Hospital, winner of the Heart Care CenterTM: National Distinction of Excellence from the American Heart Association, is accredited for ventricular assist device implantation. Norton Heart & Vascular Institute is built on a legacy of innovation that includes the world’s second artificial heart transplant.
If medication is no longer controlling your heart failure symptoms, you may be eligible for mechanical circulatory support such as a ventricular assist device. The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists in the Norton Heart & Vascular Institute Ventricular Assist Device Program implant the mechanical pump alongside the heart to help it pump blood more effectively.
Once used primarily as a temporary measure for those awaiting a heart transplant, ventricular assist devices have made many heart transplants unnecessary. The ventricular assist device now provides long-term support that helps patients go on with productive lives
Bob Wilson probably had about six months to live when surgeons implanted a left ventricular assist device and arranged for The Bates Memorial Baptist Church pastor’s heart was failing. Find out how medication reversed heart failure so he can spread the good word for many years to come.a heart transplant.
Consideration for ventricular assist device placement includes a series of tests to make sure it is the right treatment for you. The testing includes bloodwork, ultrasounds, echocardiograms, cardiac catheterization, pulmonary function tests and meeting with a dietitian, social worker, financial coordinator, cardiologist, surgeon and palliative care provider. Our team will work to coordinate these steps over just a few days. If you’ve been admitted to the hospital, these tests and steps will be completed during your stay.
A multidisciplinary meeting of the Ventricular Assist Device Program team will review your test results. Then, the team members will discuss their recommendations with you and your caregiver.
A ventricular assist device is implanted in an open heart surgical procedure under general anesthesia. The surgery usually takes four to six hours.
Once the VAD has been implanted, you will be transferred to the Norton Audubon Hospital open heart recovery area where nurses will monitor the ventricular assist device and help you recover from surgery.
Once the initial recovery period is over and your condition is stable, you will move to the step-down unit, known as a progressive care unit. There you will complete your recovery from surgery, become familiar with the ventricular assist device and resume daily activities such as getting out of bed, eating and exercising.
You and your family will learn more about the ventricular assist device in a class for you and your caregivers to gain in-depth knowledge about the ventricular assist device and daily care.
It will take some time for you to get used to living with a ventricular assist device, and we will be there to help you along the way.
Some of the tasks you will have at home include:
Norton Heart & Vascular Institute offers patient resources to support you and your family, including free classes for people of all ages who are seeking to improve cardiovascular health or living with a heart condition.
Cardiac Rehabilitation Program
Our cardiac rehabilitation providers are leaders in developing and applying innovative techniques that can help you recover and resume your life.
Connecting Hearts Support Group
The group provides education and support to individuals who have had a heart attack, are living with a heart condition or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.
Heart Health Screenings
Prevention is the best way to manage heart disease, and screenings are available to detect early signs of cardiac and vascular disease and identify risk factors.
Every year, more than 137,000 people in Louisville and Southern Indiana choose Norton Heart & Vascular Institute specialists for their heart and vascular care. That’s more than any other health care provider.
Cardiology, Heart Failure
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