LVAD Preoperative Details
A doctor will evaluate the patient and counsel him/her for the possible complications that may arise during the LVAD procedure. He might even prescribe some investigations. The doctor might prescribe relevant medications to reduce the risks prior to the procedure. The patient must not eat anything for at least 12 hours starting a night before the surgery.
LVAD Operative Details
- STEP 1: The area of the body where the LVAD procedure has to be performed is numbed using general anaesthesia.
- STEP 2: In order to access the heart, the surgeon will make a long incision on the breastbone and spread the rib cage. In most of the complex cases, doctors place the patient on a cardiopulmonary bypass machine, which takes over the functioning of the heart and lungs until the operation is complete.
- STEP 3: The surgeon now connects the LVAD inside the patient’s heart.
- One end of the LVAD tube is connected to the heart’s left ventricle and its other end exits from the aorta.
- Now a small electrical cord is connected to the LVAD (a driveline) which exits from the upper abdomen and is connected to a power supply (which can be a battery or a plug-in) which is operated using a small computer.
- STEP 4: The device is tested for its proper functioning.
- STEP 5: The patient is taken off the cardiopulmonary bypass and the chest is closed with stitches.
LVAD Post-operative Details
The patient has to spend a day or two in the intensive care unit for monitoring purpose. He/she has to be on a respirator for a day for breathing assistance. After surgery, most people become asymptomatic and start to feel better. However, certain medication and precautionary measures may be recommended to avoid the recurrence of such problems in future.