Ventricular Assist Devices: A New Option for Severe Heart Failure “Destination Therapy”

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a battery-operated mechanical pump that helps a weakened heart pump blood throughout the body. It is most commonly used as a “bridge” to transplantation for those whose medical therapy has failed and who are hospitalized with severe heart failure. More recently, Emory has started using VADs as an alternative to transplantation (“destination therapy”), when a donor heart is either not available or when a patient is ineligible for/or unwilling to undergo transplantation.

The Emory Heart & Vascular Center implanted its first device as “destination therapy” in 2006 as part of a clinical trial. More recently, the Center has joined another clinical trial to test a newer device that promises to provide better patient results and greater mechanical reliability.

Patient Advantages:

  • Because the number of heart transplantations is limited by donor availability, using VADs as destination therapy offers hope for more patients with severe heart disease.
  • VADs offer a new and viable option for patients with severe heart failure who are unwilling to undergo transplantation or who are ineligible for a variety of reasons, including personal or religious beliefs, cancer, blood clotting problems and other debilitating health conditions.
  • VADs often allow patients to resume a much more normal lifestyle and can provide a significantly improved quality of life.

Why Emory?

Emory University Hospital’s Cardiac VAD destination therapy program has earned the "Gold Seal of Approval" from The Joint Commission. The program has achieved this status because of the experience of our multidisciplinary team and our compliance with performance standards that positively impact clinical outcomes. Emory is one of only two certified programs in Georgia and is one of approximately 80 such centers in the country.

Emory Heart Failure Center

Hear My Story

Hear My Story

Read patient testimonials of lives that have been changed by Emory.

Continue reading

The Physician

Dr. Laskar

Learn more about Sonjoy Laskar, MD

To make an appointment, call 404-778-7777.