Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

(Also known as: Heart Assist Pump, Heart Pump, and Mechanical Circulatory Support System)

Over the last several decades, doctors and researchers have developed a new generation of devices to mechanically assist blood circulation. Some of these devices replace the function of the left ventricle, which is weakened in heart failure patients. Others supplement it rather than replace it. Assist devices are therefore markedly different from their total artificial heart predecessors.

The Jarvik 2000® Ventricular Assist Device is sometimes called a “booster” pump. Implanted inside the intact biological heart, it aids the left ventricle in ejecting blood. The flow produced by the Jarvik 2000 is synchronized with the heartbeat so that the blood moves in natural pulses. Most heart failure patients retain enough heart function to make this kind of support more reliable and effective — not to mention more comfortable — than that of a total artificial heart or device that produces the total output of a healthy heart.