Cardiac health defines the overall wellbeing of the individual. Cardiovascular diseases impair quality of life negatively affecting the health of other organs and putting life at stake. Therefore, routine heart controls should not be delayed.
In case of an advanced heart problem and lack of improvement despite of medical treatment, artificial heart may be necessary to assist cardiac contractions. The artificial heart applied to the left ventricle of the heart in case of an isolated left heart disease is called the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD).
As a reflection of technological advancements in cardiovascular surgery, major developments have been achieved in medicine after continuous flow devices became usable with LVAD’s. Continuous flow devices make the size of intracorporeal LVAD’s smaller facilitating the operative process and providing a comfortable post-operative period for the patient.
The pulsatile hearts, on the other hand, have been used quite efficiently for a long time. In advanced cases of heart failure complicated by right heart failure, in particular, devices to support both areas should be used. BiVAD (Biventricular Assist Device) is the choice of treatment in such cases.
In cases of coexisting right and left ventricular failure, biventricular devices are used since it would be risky and uncomfortable for the patient to get artificial heart to each one of the ventricles. These artificial hearts are supported by extracorporeal devices. Extra Corporeal BiVAD’s get blood from right ventricle of the heart pumping to the lung vein and from left ventricle to the aorta.
Total Artificial Heart, on the other hand, is the state of the art device in artificial hearts. In other artificial hearts, the implanted device was left in place however in total heart implantations, the heart is totally removed and replaced by artificial heart. This is an option first for those having undergone valve replacement operation with clotting detected inside the heart. Also, total heart is the only option for patients diagnosed with biventricular failure.
LVAD and BiVADwas used for bridging to transplantation in the past. Yet, the artificial hearts implanted today may be used for long years and even throughout the lives of patients.