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How does a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) work?

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One end of the LVAD hooks up to the left ventricle (the heart chamber that pumps blood into the body) and the other end hooks up to the aorta (the body's main artery).

The pump and its connections are implanted during open-heart surgery. A computer controller, a power pack, and a reserve power pack remain outside the body. Some models let a person wear these external units on a belt or harness outside.

The power pack has to be recharged at night.

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Implantable Medical Devices."

HeartFailure.org: "Left Ventricular Assist Device."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on February 12, 2018

SOURCES:

American Heart Association: "Implantable Medical Devices."

HeartFailure.org: "Left Ventricular Assist Device."

Reviewed by James Beckerman on February 12, 2018

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

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