LVAD Program

Heartmate II

What is an LVAD?
An LVAD is referred to as a "Left Ventricular Assist Device". This mechanical device is used to help circulate blood throughout the body when the heart becomes to weak to pump enough blood to meet your body's needs. There are three different circumstances a LVAD is used for:

How does an LVAD Work?
An LVAD is a mechanical device that is surgically implanted and attached to the heart. The LVAD takes over the pumping function of the left ventricle. The type of device you receive will determine how it is implanted, however UNMC currently uses Thoratec's HeartMate II device. The HeartMate II is placed below the diaphragm in the abdomen. It's attached to the left ventricle and the aorta. The aorta is the largest artery in the body that arises from the left ventricle and it carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle throughout the body. The LVAD assists the heart to help pump the blood with less work. The LVAD also consists of external parts such as a controller and two batteries that can be worn under or on top of the clothing.