If medications fail to beef up the heart's pumping power, a left-ventricular assist device
(LVAD) may be offered.
Self-care demands of persons living with an implantable left-ventricular assist device
. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice: An International Journal 23(4), 279-193.
Last year, the agency approved clinical trials for Stanford University Medical Center's left-ventricular assist device
, which takes over the heart's muscular workhorse, the left ventricle, during heart transplants or open-heart surgery.
One of the biggest dilemmas facing physicians treating heart failure patients is when to implant a left-ventricular assist device
Moreover, VAD developers "need to be focusing on less debilitated patients and, of course, altogether we need to get the cost down." Currently, left-ventricular assist devices
are FDA-approved only as a temporary bridge to cardiac transplant or for end-stage heart failure patients ineligible for a transplant.
Recent developments in artificial heart technology have been progressing on two fronts: left-ventricular assist devices
, which supplement a diseased heart; and fully implantable replacement hearts.