Ventricular Assist Device Program (VAD)
The Cone Health Ventricular Assist Devices (VADS) team lead by Peter Van Trigt, MD, performed the first heart pump implant in the state in a community health center setting in 2013.
Doctors may recommend a mechanical pump for some people whose hearts can no longer deliver enough blood to meet the body’s needs. VADs may help a person to live a longer and happier life.
In 2014, the Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center received full certification from The Joint Commission for the center’s Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Program.
Tonya Moore was in the hospital being treated for pneumonia when physicians found she had experienced a previously undiagnosed heart attack. Her heart muscle had been significantly weakened and was no longer able to pump blood efficiently.
“It explained a lot,” Moore says. “I was extremely tired all the time, and doing even the simplest household chores just wore me out. I really couldn’t do any of the things I wanted to do.”
Physicians recommended a left ventricular assist device (LVAD), a small pump implanted in her chest to pump blood from the left ventricle into the aorta, the main artery.
Moore was admitted to the Cone Health Heart and Vascular Center for the surgery where the Cone Health team trained for more than two years in all aspects of the procedure. The typical stay for most LVAD patients is a month; however, the 44-year-old mother of two was doing so well she was released and headed home in two weeks.
“With the advances made in heart pump technology, we now can offer hope to patients who need a heart transplant but otherwise wouldn’t get one,” says Peter Van Trigt, MD.