Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program

  • Frequently Asked Questions about Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)

    The Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) program, part of the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, provides answers to frequently asked questions.
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    + How are VAD candidates determined?

    End-stage heart failure patients are evaluated by a multi-disciplinary team to determine their device candidacy. There are many studies that are required to determine if a device is the best option and if it is a safe for the patient to undergo the procedure.

    + How do you decide which VAD is the best each individual?

    The person’s size, age and disease state are all taken into account when deciding what device is right for each patient. 

    + What do I need to do to best prepare for my VAD?

    To best prepare for a ventricular assist device we encourage the patient to try to get the best nutrition possible to help with healing. This is sometimes hard if the patient is in severe heart failure.

    + What can I expect from the surgery?

    The recovery time varies depending on the size of the patient and the device that is chosen. A thorough explanation is provided at the time of consultation since this is patient dependent. 

    + What can I expect living with a VAD?

    A life with a VAD is not easy. Everything that you normally do will be different since you rely on battery power and electricity. We encourage patients to discuss this question with other patients that have VADS if possible. 

    + Will I be able to go home with a VAD?

    The answer to this question depends on the VAD that is used. Some VADs are only designed and FDA approved to be used in the hospital.  

    + Can I lead a normal life?

    If you are on a durable device that allows for discharge home, you will be able to lead a relatively normal life.  You can exercise, travel and go to school and work. 

    + What risks do we have to be most aware of regarding living with a device?

    After the device is placed and you have recovered from surgery, the biggest risks are to the blood thinners that are required to keep the device functioning. After discharge there is a risk of stroke and bleeding. 

  • A team of surgeons at work.
    A team of surgeons at work.
  • Contact Us

    Contact for Consultation or Patient VAD/ECMO Transport Questions

    VAD Office Number: (513) 803-1675