When basic heart failure therapy (medical and traditional surgery) has not resulted in a significant improvement in symptoms, quality of life and the possibility of extending survival, advanced therapies may be offered which include mechanical support and transplantation when indicated.
Mechanical support involves the placement of a pump called a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD), to support the heart and perform the basic functions that the heart is no longer able to. This is usually a surgical procedure, but Westchester Medical Center has pioneered a novel technique to place a pump through blood vessels in the leg. The most common use of this technology is to support patients while they wait for a suitable donor for transplantation. In those patients that are not candidate for transplant these pumps can be used as an alternative to transplant for lifetime therapy, called destination therapy. An emerging use of these devices is “bridge-to-recovery” when it is possible that the patient’s heart will recover and the device may be removed.
The physicians at Westchester Medical Center have been leading investigators in this field and have been involved in trials that have led to the success of this therapy.
Westchester Medical Center has received national recognition in the emerging field of “bridge to recovery”.
The devices available include the Heartmate II, Thoratec BIVAD, Abiomed AB 5000, CentriMag Blood Pump, Tandem Heart, Impella and the Cardiac Help.
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