Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
In this article, we have covered the following aspects of Left Ventricular Assist Device procedure:
- Best Hospitals in India for LVAD
- Top Specialists in India for LVAD
- Cost of Left Ventricular Assist Device procedure
- Understanding Left Ventricular Assist Device procedure
Best Doctors and Hospitals for LVAD procedure in India
Following is a list of the most reputed specialists in India for LVAD.
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Cost of LVAD in India
LVADs have earlier been used as ‘bridge-to-transplant’ that is, until a cadaveric donor is available. The cost of such LVADs have been in the range of USD 30,000-60,000. However, these days, LVADs are also available at Destination Therapy (DT) which acts like a heart for rest of life. The costs of DT LVADs could be almost double of the former. It also depends on the brand.
Left Ventricular Assist Device procedure (LVAD)
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) is an advanced treatment prescribed by the cardiologists to improve the life expectancy of heart failure patients. LVAD is recommended to those waiting for heart transplant and facing end-stage heart failure. Such patients can survive with LVAD till they get a donor heart for transplantation as the device boosts their heart’s function. Destination LVAD is a permanent replacement for Heart Transplant.
Ventricles are the lower muscular chambers in the heart that pump blood to the body organs. If either one or both ventricles are not able to pump sufficient blood to sustain life, left ventricular assist device can be used to do the same. LVAD is a battery-operated device. It is a kind of mechanical pump with a tube that helps the weakened heart to supply the blood normally to all the organs of the body.
How LVAD works
LVAD has three basic parts – a pump, a power unit and an external battery unit. The pump is surgically implanted near the heart with one part attached to the left ventricle and the other end to the aorta. Blood from the ventricles flows into the pump and passed into the aorta. A cable from the pump exits your body through a cut in the abdomen which connects to the controller and battery outside the body.
LVAD implantation surgery takes about six hours. The hospital stay is of approximately three weeks.
LVAD as an alternative to heart transplant
Doctors and patients are now finding it as a viable option than a heart transplant. It is gaining acceptance even more because there is a shortage of donor hearts and the patient can survive with the device. It allows faster recovery than a heart transplant procedure. The expected life of the device, as per FDA certification is 60 years.
LVADs are now more portable and can be implanted in both children and adults. The manufacturers are also working towards a miniature device that can be completely placed inside the body, reducing the hassles of wearing a part outside the body.
Benefits LVAD over heart transplant
- No waiting period like heart transplant.
- Unlike a heart transplant, after LVAD procedure you do not require immune-suppressants but only one blood thinning medicine for smooth blood flow.
- If the heart ventricle retrieves over the time LVAD can be removed.
- Ventricular devices are functional in all types of blood groups unlike heart transplant in which matching blood group is necessary.
Note (for foreign patients):
Besides South Asian countries (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), every year, India gets thousands of medical tourists from African countries- Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda, Ghana, Somalia,Gambia etc and Middle Eastern countries like Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Yemen etc. Hence, if you are a citizen of any of these countries, there is good likelihood that you will be meeting some fellow citizens or same language speakers in the major hospitals in India. Almost all the top hospitals have translators for people of these region. Our patient support team is also well placed to assist you.