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What are the risks of a left ventricular assist device (LVAD)?

ANSWER

The risks of LVADs include:

Your doctor will go over these risks with you and tell you what you can do to avoid them.

  • Bleeding
  • Blood clots that could lead to a stroke
  • Infection
  • Problems with the device, including pumping issues or a power failure
  • Right heart failure. Because the LVAD only supports the left ventricle, it forces the weakened right ventricle to pump more blood than it may be able to handle.

From: What Are LVADs for Heart Failure? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Devices and Surgical Procedures to Treat Heart Failure."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What are the Risks of a Ventricular Assist Device?" "What are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure?" "What is a Ventricular Assist Device?" "What to Expect After Ventricular Assist Device Surgery," "Who Needs a Ventricular Assist Device?"

Stanford Health Care: "About the LVAD,"  "LVAD Frequently Asked Questions."

University of California, San Francisco: "FAQ: Living with a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 2, 2019

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Devices and Surgical Procedures to Treat Heart Failure."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "What are the Risks of a Ventricular Assist Device?" "What are the Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure?" "What is a Ventricular Assist Device?" "What to Expect After Ventricular Assist Device Surgery," "Who Needs a Ventricular Assist Device?"

Stanford Health Care: "About the LVAD,"  "LVAD Frequently Asked Questions."

University of California, San Francisco: "FAQ: Living with a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on March 2, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

Who might be a good candidate for a left ventricular assist device (LVAD)?

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