The DuraHeart LVAS helps people with failing hearts by giving them more time and energy to do the things they love.
It’s been proven to provide safe, long-term support for patients who are unable to receive a heart transplant, due to donor availability or other factors. In fact, there are patients who received a DuraHeart LVAS more than 4 years ago who are living active, normal lives.
DESIGNED TO TREAT BLOOD GENTLY
The main part of the DuraHeart LVAS is a small pump, and it’s also what sets DuraHeart apart from other Left Ventricular Assist Systems. The DuraHeart pump features a unique design that is gentle on blood cells. That’s important because when blood cells are damaged, it can lead to internal bleeding or blood clots. Avoiding these complications is especially important because many heart failure patients are on blood thinning medication. If they must have a blood transfusion during LVAS therapy, their eligibility for a heart transplant is compromised.
Here’s how it works. With an implanted DuraHeart LVAS, blood flows from the patient’s left ventricle along two paths. One path is along the normal route, from the left ventricle directly to the body. The other is through the DuraHeart pump, which removes blood from the heart and propels it through the aorta to the rest of the body. The inside of the pump is engineered to help blood flow through it gently and smoothly. This minimizes the turbulence and friction that can damage blood cells.
HOW THE DURAHEART IS IMPLANTED
The DuraHeart LVAS pump is implanted by a heart surgeon with a specially trained LVAS team. Because of its small size, the pump fits comfortably inside a pocket created in the upper abdomen. It doesn’t replace the heart, but is connected to the left ventricle and the aorta to help the weakened heart pump blood. The pump is connected by a cable to a rechargeable battery outside the body. The entire system is designed to be portable and travel easily with patients as they go about their daily activities.
LIVING WITH A DURAHEART
After receiving the DuraHeart LVAS, it’s not unusual for patients to feel better than they have in years. Their energy level is higher and they’re able to enjoy a much better quality of life. Many are able to return to work, resume normal activities and hobbies, and spend time with the ones they love.
The DuraHeart LVAS is built to be durable, simple to use and highly portable. Patients can move about freely for up to five hours using two fully charged batteries, and this time can be extended simply by carrying extra batteries.
Here’s what patients can expect after they receive their DuraHeart LVAS:
- Before leaving the hospital, a specially trained team helps them and those who support them learn about how to use and care for the DuraHeart at home.
- After leaving the hospital, they’ll need regular follow-ups with their doctor. As the healing process continues, those visits may decrease to as little as once a month or less.
- No special diet is required with the DuraHeart LVAS. However, because regaining strength is an important goal, the doctor may advise eating a healthy, sensible diet.
- Special medication may or may not be needed, depending on their medical history and condition after surgery.
- Swimming and baths need to be avoided to protect the parts of the DuraHeart system that are outside the body.
THE DURAHEART SYSTEM