Indexed on: 27 Mar '14Published on: 27 Mar '14Published in: Current Surgery Reports
End-stage heart failure poses a significant problem for patients and a burden on the healthcare system. With a lack of available hearts for transplant, mechanical circulatory support has emerged as a viable treatment option. The first generation ventricular assist device (VAD) showed superior outcomes to optimal medical management. Now with second and third generation continuous-flow VADs available, outcomes have continued to improve. Patients who undergo VAD implantation have superior survival and increased quality of life; however, they also have a significant risk of adverse events. These adverse events are decreasing as newer devices are developed, surgical experience increases, postoperative care improves and patient selection trends toward less critically ill patients. Future progress of the VAD will continue to improve survival and decrease adverse events.