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VAD Therapy at Tampa General Hospital

Ventricular Assist Device

A ventricular assist device (commonly referred to as a VAD) can help weakened hearts more effectively push blood to the rest of the body. These mechanical devices aren’t designed to completely replace the function of the heart, as a transplant or artificial heart may; rather, they can enhance the existing pumping action to provide greater overall blood circulation.

Tampa General Hospital’s Mechanical Circulatory Support Program offers VAD implantation to help patients with various forms of end-stage heart disease. Since the program’s formalization in 2002, we have completed more than 600 implant procedures, making us one of the busiest VAD therapy centers in the entire nation. TGH performs VAD implants for three purposes:

  • Bridge to recovery – Patients who are experiencing temporary heart failure, as is often seen when recovering from heart surgery, may have a VAD implanted for a short period of time to aid the heart as it heals.

  • Bridge to transplant – Patients who are accepted into TGH’s Heart Transplant Program may need a device implanted to supplement their heart’s function as they await a suitable donor heart.

  • Destination therapy – Patients who don’t meet the criteria for a heart transplant or who choose not to undergo a transplant may have a VAD implanted as an alternative. In this case, the ventricular assist device is left in place for a long period of time (potentially permanently) to promote better blood flow.

Commonly Used Devices

At TGH, we participate in several clinical trials for new devices as they emerge into clinical practice, and we have several types of mechanical circulatory assist devices for the physician to choose from to assure optimal patient outcomes. Depending on a patient's specific needs, the surgeons at Tampa General can implant any of several commonly used devices, including the HeartWare LVAD, HeartMate II, Impella, CentriMag, Syncardia Total Artificial Heart (TAH), and ECMO.

To learn more about Tampa General’s Mechanical Circulatory Support Program and the VAD therapy options that we offer, please call 1-800-505-7769 (select option 2 for the Ventricular Assist Device Program) or email vadteam@tgh.org.

Click here for the Cardiothoracic Transplant and VAD Programs Referral Form.