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Mechanical Circulatory Support

Dr. Adler and LVAD patient Mechanical Circulatory Support involves the use of mechanical devices such as Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) or artificial hearts to help do the work for the heart in patients with heart failure.

MCS devices can be used as a bridge to transplant, providing temporary support until a donor heart becomes available. They can also be used as destination therapy for patients who are not eligible for transplantation.

MCS devices are advancing rapidly, becoming smaller, easier to implant and easier on the patient. Next generation Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs) could be close to the size of your thumb, and newer batteries and peripherals will be close to the size of a cell phone. Centrifugal flow LVADs have magnetically supported floating impellers that make less contact with the blood, reducing complications.

Ultimately we hope for totally implanatable VADs, with no external batteries or peripherals. At that time, they would be an attractive alternative to a heart transplant, especially given the limited number of available hearts for transplant. Off-the-shelf MCS devices can help to fill this gap.