LVADs, Meds Help Some Heart Failure Patients Recover Function
Devices may help extend length and quality of life.
When damage to the left ventricle causes heart failure, the heart may become too weak to pump enough blood into the lungs and body. If medications fail to beef up the heartís pumping power, a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) may be offered. These small mechanical pumps take over the heartís pumping action, and are often used temporarily until a heart transplant can be performed or as a permanent pump for patients who are not candidates for heart transplant.