Treatments & Services

Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Placement

What is A VAD?

A ventricular assist device (VAD) is a battery-operated mechanical pump (MCS) that helps a weakened heart pump blood throughout the body. It is most commonly used as a bridge to transplant for those whose medical therapy has failed and who are hospitalized with end-stage heart failure. More recently, the VAD is providing an alternative to transplant. VADs allow a near normal quality of life, with most patients returning home with their families.

Why Choose Emory for VAD

Emory University Hospital's Cardiac Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) destination therapy program has the "Gold Seal of Approval" from The Joint Commission. Emory's VAD program is one of only two certified programs of its kind in Georgia and one of approximately 80 centers in the United States.

The Emory University Hospital VAD Program provides services for patients with chronic heart failure in an effort to promote optimal health, improve the quality of life, and provide comprehensive outpatient services.

Led by cardiothoracic surgeon, David Vega, MD, the VAD team has many years experience in using a VAD as a form of destination therapy (in place of a donor transplant) for individuals who are not eligible for - or unwilling to undergo - a heart transplant.

In 2023, Emory celebrated the 35-year anniversary of its heart transplant program and has completed over 1,000 adult heart transplants, more than any other center in Georgia. Emory’s cardiothoracic surgeons perform an average of 37 adult heart transplants each year.

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.

How to schedule an appointment

To schedule an appointment or to refer a patient for heart failure or consultation for a VAD call 404-778-5273.

The Emory Heart & Vascular Heart Failure specialists will perform the initial evaluation and consult with the cardio-thoracic surgeons if you are deemed a candidate for VAD implantation or transplant.

To transfer patients from another hospital please call 404–778-4930 for an urgent evaluation and transfer.