Health Care

LVAD –new device to prevent cardiac seizures

Heart forms one of the vital human organs. Once the heart becomes weak, it fails to maintain adequate blood flow to meet the individual’s body requirement, and this result in sudden cardiac seizures among such patients and sometimes leading to fatal death as well. However, currently with the advancement in medical technology these situations can be prevented. A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is one of the newest devices that has come in which helps pump blood from the lower left chamber of the heart to the rest of the body. The device is apt for people with weak hearts or those experiencing heart failure.

The LVAD is a kind of mechanical device, a small battery operated pumping device that runs on rechargeable batteries. The pump is implanted in the thoracic region just below the heart while the batteries are outside. Once implanted it takes over the entire blood pumping function of the heart and the patient gets a new lease of life. Implanting an LVAD requires open-heart surgery, a potentially life-saving procedure if one have severe heart failure. It can be used either as a ‘bridge to transplant’ that is to keep the patient well until a heart is available for transplant or to support your heart until it becomes strong enough on its own. The device can also be used as a long term treatment for heart failure as ‘destination therapy’ that is as a permanent solution in patients not suitable for transplant.

LVAD can be the best suited treatment procedure if the patient is not a good candidate for heart transplant or when a patient’s heart can function normally again if the heart failure is temporary and once LVAD is implanted the heart begins to heal and becomes healthy enough to pump blood on its own. Meanwhile, temporary LVAD implantation can also be done when a heart patient is waiting for a donor heart to become available.  An LVAD can keep your blood flowing even with a diseased heart and can be removed when a new heart becomes available and is implanted. Meanwhile, the LVAD implantation also has certain rare risks involved. There would be slight chances of blood clots, bleeding is the most common postoperative complication after implantation or explantation of LVADs and also there would be chances of  infection which needs to be taken care during the implant.

Since the technology is quite new, very few centers in India have the facility. In Bengaluru, Narayana Health was the first to use the technology.

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Luna Dewan

Luna Dewan

With six years of her journalism experience, Luna Dewan has worked for leading print media like the New Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and DNA. She has been writing on healthcare, environment and various other civic issues. She is now with as the Assistant Editor.

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