A percutaneous ventricular assist device (PVAD) is a small mechanical pump that provides short-term support for the heart from a few hours up to 15 days. It is typically used to give the heart time to strengthen if a patient has developed heart failure as a result of heart surgery or a heart attack. The PVAD is worn outside the body, and connected to the heart through a vein in the thigh. One benefit of the PVAD is that it can be inserted in the cardiac cath lab.
Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)
A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) treats heart failure by easing the heart's workload. An LVAD is a mechanical pump that assumes the work of the left ventricle, the heart's most important pumping chamber. This allows the heart to rest, while simultaneously supporting the body with normal - or near normal - blood flow. Implanting this device requires open heart surgery.
The Levitronix CentriMag is a blood pump that can support the heart or take over the work of the heart during heart surgeries such as cardiopulmonary bypass, valve repair, or valve replacement. It operates outside the body and is attached to the heart during surgery. The Levitronix CentriMag is also being evaluated in clinical trials as a bridge support for patients whose hearts have gone into shock, while waiting for a transplant or a decision on treatment.