Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

Artificial Hearts and Ventricular Assist Devices

In 1985, UPMC surgeons implanted the nation's second Jarvik Artificial Heart as a bridge-to-transplantation. In 1990, UPMC became the first medical center to discharge a patient on a ventricular assist device (VAD).

Today, we continue to pioneer the use of mechanical circulatory support devices, treating more than 600 people, and making our Artificial Heart program one of the most active program of its kind.

VADs as Healing Tools

Whether as a temporary or permanent solution, VAD implantation has given renewed life to critically ill patients with acute congestive heart failure or cardiogenic shock.

VADs can act as:

  • Bridges to heart transplantation, allowing people to live healthier lives while awaiting the availability of a suitable donor heart.
  • Permanent replacements (destination therapy) that do the heart's work of circulating blood.

Our researchers have even developed strategies that use VADs as bridges to recovery to help during the natural recovery of cardiac tissue, meaning we've actually removed some devices from people after their hearts have healed.

Interested in learning more about heart and vascular treatment?

Request an appointment today.

Recent News

A team of UPMC cardiothoracic surgeons became the first in Pennsylvania to implant a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), using a minimally invasive surgical approach.

Read more about the procedure in the Herald-Standard

Video Resources




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