Ventricular Assist Device Therapy

A Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) is a mechanical circulatory device used to partially or completely replace the function of a weakening heart. The device is surgically attached to the heart’s left ventricle and assists with heart function as the patient waits for a new heart via transplant (bridge to transplant), recovers from a heart attack or heart surgery (bridge to recovery) or lives long term with the device (destination therapy).

Morristown Medical Center is among 60 hospitals nationwide to be awarded the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission, achieving Disease-Specific Care Certification for its ventricular assist device (VAD) program. Morristown Medical Center is one of only three hospitals in New Jersey and one of only three non-transplant centers in the country with this certification.

Surgeons also have a multitude of short-term and long-term VAD options to support patients. Devices are available that can be placed at the bedside, in the interventional suite (using less invasive approaches) or in the operating room.

Figure 1: Ventricular Assist Device in place
Reprinted with the permission of Thoratec Corporation

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