What is a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)?
In simple terms, ventricular assist devices assist the heart by pumping artificially. LVAD cost in India is quite high. The device is designed to help a weak heart pump blood, as it cannot do so without assistance. A VAD implantation takes place in patients who are not suitable for heart transplantation or who may have a lengthy waiting period to find a suitable donor.
Your heart may be fitted with a ventricular assist device in either its left or right ventricle. Generally, it is placed in the left ventricle; therefore, it is referred to as a left ventricular assist device (LVAD).
Ventricular Assist Devices may be recommended by your surgeon if:
- Undergoing a heart transplant requires a long period of waiting.
- Medical conditions or age make you an ineligible candidate for a heart transplant.
An artificial heart may be considered as an alternative to a VAD if a VAD is not appropriate for your condition.
What is the function of the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)?
- The Left Ventricular Assist Device is equipped with an arterial tube that transports blood from the left ventricle into a pump. It helps the weakened ventricle pump blood into the aorta.
- The pump is situated in the upper abdomen, and an external component of the LVAD is also located there.
- LVADs are portable devices that can be used for weeks or months at a time. With an LVAD implant, patients are released from the hospital and have a high quality of life while waiting for an available heart donor.
What is the procedure for implanting a Left Ventricular Assist Device?
It typically takes four to six hours for a left ventricular assist device to be implanted.
- Step 1 – An incision is made below the heart. There will then be a separation of your chest bone and an opening of your rib cage so that your heart can be operated on.
- Step 2 – If your heart is stopped during surgery, you will be connected to a heart-lung bypass machine that maintains oxygenated blood flow to your body’s organs.
- Step 3 – Once the LVAD has been implanted, the surgeons remove the heart-lung bypass machine. As a result, the heart will be able to pump blood through the implanted device.
- Step 4 – Upon waking up after surgery, you may experience breathing difficulties. Therefore, you will need to remain connected to a ventilator for some time following surgery to regain your ability to breathe independently.
In what ways is an LVAD implant beneficial?
- A VAD is designed to restore blood flow to a patient whose heart has been compromised by cardiovascular disease. Patients experiencing chronic fatigue and shortness of breath may benefit from this procedure.
- It helps maintain or improve other organs and assists a person in receiving cardiac rehabilitation. It may also lead to a longer life expectancy as well as improved quality of life.
- Ventricular assist devices are an excellent option for individuals awaiting a donor for a prolonged period.
Complications associated with implantation of a Left Ventricular Assist Device
Ventricular assist devices are implanted through open-heart surgery and involve significant risks, including:
- Heart failure of the right side
- Respiratory arrest
- Failure of the device
- Bleeding inside the body
- Failure of the kidneys
What is life like after an LVAD is implanted?
- TheLVAD external controller and power source will be permanently connected to your body following the implant. Whenever you are active, your device will run on battery power, and when sleeping, it will be connected to an electrical power source.
- You should also maintain a set of backup batteries, always in full charge. The backup equipment must be taken with you wherever you go.
- As the LVAD is portable, it can be carried from one place to another. It may also be possible for you to drive, based on the advice of your medical team.
- Pets should not be allowed near the patient to prevent them from damaging the device.
What is the cost of implanting a left ventricular assist device in India?
LVAD cost in India is approximately USD 60000 to 120000. However, the cost of the procedure varies depending on the patient’s medical condition, the hospital, the type of room opted for, the surgeon’s fees, and the city in which it is performed.
Medication following LVAD
Depending on your condition, you may be prescribed a combination of drugs to optimize the function of your heart. There is no doubt that LVAD cost in India is relatively high, but treatment is still recommended to minimize complications. Medications are prescribed based on each patient’s current medical condition and medical history. The patient should take the medication on time as directed.
All LVAD patients are prescribed anti-clotting medications and aspirin to prevent blood clots in the pump. In addition to several drugs you have been prescribed for heart failure, you will likely continue to receive ACE inhibitors (or ARBs), beta-blockers, and diuretics (water pills).