Patients with advanced heart failure who are not candidates for heart transplants have a long-term treatment option available and a dedicated team to manage their care at our Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Clinic.
The clinic addresses the special physical and emotional needs of patients who have undergone the VAD procedure as a "destination therapy," or a permanent solution to assist their weakened hearts. The VAD procedure, which involves implanting a heart pump in a patient's chest, is also used as a "bridge-to-transplant" until a heart becomes available.
The Heart & Vascular Institute is among a select group of cardiac centers in the nation accredited to offer VAD technology as a destination therapy, giving end-stage heart failure patients a new lease on life.
In order to help patients with their ongoing care, VAD Clinic staff members contact patients each week by phone and see them in the clinic once a month.
During each appointment, patients' weight, vital signs and lab results are reviewed, dressings are changed, and they are examined by a cardiologist and nurse practitioner. A member of the pharmacy team reviews and updates patients' medication lists.
Our staff coordinates care with other interdisciplinary teams including psychiatry, social work and home health. In addition, they educate patients on diet, wound care and various aspects of congestive heart failure, and schedules any needed tests.