linked in pixel

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

Why choose Ochsner Health for your ventricular assist device?

Ochsner is home to a comprehensive advanced heart failure program, which has one of the largest ventricular assist device programs in the country. As the only ventricular assist device center in the Gulf South, Ochsner offers superior mechanical circulatory support treatment with excellent outcomes, such as:

  • Averaging 60 to 70 ventricular assist device implants annually.
  • Achieving a one-year long- and short-term survival rate for bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy of 98% — with two- and three-year survival rates at 96%.
  • Earning the Ventricular Assist Device Advanced Certification from The Joint Commission and designation from U.S. News & World Report as a “High Performing Hospital” for heart failure treatments, which include ventricular assist devices.

Whether you’re waiting for a heart transplant or hoping to improve your quality of life with late-stage heart failure, trust Ochsner for your ventricular assist device implantation.

The John Ochsner Heart & Vascular Institute at Ochsner Medical Center - New Orleans has offered ventricular assist device implantation since 1990. We are the only hospital in Louisiana that provides this lifesaving technology.

Once you’re established as a patient, MyOchsner makes it easy to keep up with appointments and test results and to communicate with the ventricular assist device team. We also have an on-call ventricular assist device coordinator available 24-7.

A ventricular assist device is a specific type of mechanical circulatory support device that helps people with advanced heart failure. If you have this chronic condition, your heart is unable to pump enough blood to the body’s organs and tissues. A ventricular assist device acts as a secondary pump for your heart. Most people need a device to support their left ventricle in the heart — a left ventricular assist device, or LVAD. But some people need a ventricular assist device for their right ventricle instead. A ventricular assist device is not a total artificial heart, a type of medical circulatory support device that pumps blood for both ventricles.

Implanting a ventricular assist device requires surgery because it has parts inside and outside your body. Inside, a mechanical pump is attached to the ventricle in the heart. Outside, a flexible cable called a driveline connects to a battery-powered controller that monitors the pumping.

Ventricular assist device technology has progressed significantly since Ochsner began implanting the devices over 30 years ago. Many patients with ventricular assist devices live for several years longer than they could have without one.

There are two types of patients with advanced heart failure who may need a ventricular assist device:

  • Bridge to transplant, or short-term support — Patients on a heart transplant list may wait for months, even years, for a heart organ. Ventricular assist device implantation can improve your quality of life and prevent further damage to your other organs until a transplant happens.
  • Destination therapy, or long-term support — When a patient does not qualify for a transplant, they can receive a ventricular assist device to improve quality of life, alleviate symptoms of heart failure, and extend life expectancy.

If your Ochsner cardiologists think that you may be a good candidate for a ventricular assist device, you will undergo several tests and exams. Common heart failure symptoms that may lead to ventricular assist device implantation include:

  • Difficulty with activities of daily living
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Fluid accumulation
  • Problems with kidney or liver function
  • Shortness of breath

A ventricular assist device is only introduced as a treatment option when medications and other treatments are no longer providing sufficient control of the disease. Some patients will benefit from other mechanical circulatory support options instead of a ventricular assist device.

At Ochsner, we pride ourselves on developing unique patient-provider partnerships that serve your best interests and personal goals. Our multidisciplinary ventricular assist device team provides the most holistic, individualized, patient-centered care possible, including evaluation and education about your treatment options. Our providers include:

  • Advanced practice providers
  • Case managers
  • Dietitians
  • Financial coordinators
  • Nurses
  • Pharmacists
  • Social workers
  • Ventricular assist device coordinators

Ochsner participates in multiple clinical trials, including the now-complete Momentum 3 and international ARIES trials. These trials help provide the necessary data to improve these devices and the care provided for all patients. Additionally, this allows us to contribute to the clinical expertise and scientific research needed to provide innovative treatment plans for individualized patient care.

Read more healthy living and lifestyle tips.

Get tips in your inbox.

Sign up for our free newsletters to get the best of our healthy living tips delivered straight to your inbox.

Map of Ochsner-affiliated facilities that provide services related to Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Locations

Heart & Vascular Center of Acadiana
155 Hospital Drive
Lafayette, LA 70503
  • Monday–Thursday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Friday: 8 a.m.-noon