Ventricular Assist Device Program at Medical City Dallas Hospital

Medical City Dallas Hospital's Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program is uniquely equipped to handle the critical medical, social, psychological, and financial needs of heart patients. The VAD program has been awarded the Advanced Certification in Ventricular Assist Devices by the Joint Commission for exceptional patient care since 2008. Our program manages a growing VAD population offering state of the art technology and a comprehensive management program. Medical City has implanted more than 250 Ventricular Assist Devices since the program opened in 1996, including bridge to recovery, bridge to transplant, and destination therapy. Our team of dedicated specialists works together to determine the most effective treatment for each patient incorporating a multi-discipline approach.

What is a left ventricular assist device (LVAD)?

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a battery-operated, mechanical pump that’s surgically implanted. The left ventricle is the large, muscular chamber of the heart that pumps blood out to the body. When a patient has reached a stage of advanced heart failure, the left ventricular is typically too weak to provide adequate perfusion. An LVAD helps to effectively pump enough blood to maintain the body’s needs.

When is an LVAD used?

This device is sometimes used as a bridge to transplant, which means it can help a patient survive until a donor heart becomes available for transplant. Often times patients needing a transplant must wait a long time before a suitable heart becomes available. During this time, the patients weakened heart may deteriorate further and become unable to pump enough blood to be effective. LVADs are also used longer term or as destination therapy. If a patient is not eligible for a transplant, an LVAD may be a permanent solution to assist the heart’s circulating blood.

How does an LVAD work?

The LVAD has both internal and external components. One of the most common types has a tube that pulls blood from the left ventricle into the mechanical pump. The pump sends blood into the aorta, the large blood vessel leaving the left ventricle, effectively helping the weakened ventricle circulate blood. The pump is placed in the upper part of the abdomen while another tube extends from the pump, out through the skin, connects the pump to a controller (computer) and batteries worn outside the body. LVADs are portable and are frequently used for months to years, giving patients the freedom to enjoy an improved quality of life and increased productivity, allowing them to return to work, travel, and spend time with friends and family doing the things they love.

Heart Assist Devices

Medical City Dallas Hospital Contact Information

Todd Dewey, M.D.
Director of Cardiac Transplant and Surgical Director of Structural Heart Disease
For Referrals, please call:
Direct: (972) 566-7199
Toll Free: (800) 348-4318
Fax: (972) 566-7133

Darinka Savor, RN
VAD Supervisor
Phone: (972) 566-3807
Mobile: (214) 207-5456