VADs, Types of

Medtronic HVAD System Alert

Notice for Patients with the Medtronic HVAD™ (HeartWare) Device

Recently Medtronic stopped the sale and distribution of the Heartware Ventricular Assist Device (HVAD) System because of an increased risk of neurological events and a potential for the internal pump to stop.

For more information, see the Michigan Health blog post HVAD risks: What you need to know.

Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) are a type of mechanical circulatory device used to treat heart failure. VADs work by assisting your heart in pumping blood to the rest of your body, improving circulation to vital organs. Today’s implantable VADs are smaller, lighter and more durable than earlier VADs, and the wide variety of options allows your physician to choose the most appropriate device for your individual needs.

Examples of the many options for mechanical circulatory assistance available at the Michigan Medicine VAD Program include:

Abbott HeartMate 3® Left Ventricular Assist Device

Abbott HeartMate3 LVAD shown on body
Image provided courtesy of St. Jude Medical, Inc.

The HeartMate 3™ assists your heart in pumping blood throughout your body and increasing the supply of oxygen to your organs. Designed with Full MagLev™ flow technology, the HeartMate 3 LVAD helps protect the blood as it flows through the pump. The HeartMate 3 Controller is a small wearable computer that constantly monitors system performance through communication with the implanted LVAD.  It alerts the user to any alarm conditions by activating lights, symbols, sounds, and on-screen messages. An internal back up battery adds an extra layer of protection by providing power to the pump for at least 15 minutes during a power loss. The HeartMate 3 is FDA approved for short term use and is currently Investigational for long term patients.

HeartWare® Left Ventricular Assist Devices (HVAD)

HeartWare Ventricular Assist System Animation

HeartWare® Left Ventricular Assist Devices (HVAD)The HeartWare® Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) is a third-generation continuous flow blood pump for the treatment of advanced heart failure. It features a miniaturized centrifugal pump, which is small enough to be implanted above the diaphragm in all patients. The device is capable of generating up to 10 liters per minute of blood flow. The pump has only one moving part, the impeller, which spins at rates between 2,000 and 3,000 revolutions per minute. The impeller is suspended within the pump housing through a combination of passive magnets and a hydrodynamic thrust bearing. This hydrodynamic suspension is achieved by a gentle incline on the upper surfaces of the impeller blades. When the impeller spins, blood flows across these inclined surfaces, creating a "cushion" between the impeller and the pump housing. The HeartWare VAD, has been approved for sale in the European Union and is currently in clinical trial in the United States.

Abbott HeartMate II® Left Ventricular Assist Device

HeartWare® Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD)
Thoratec HeartMate II® Left Ventricular Assist Device

The HeartMate II® is a high-speed, axial flow, rotary blood pump. As an axial flow device, the HeartMate II® produces no pulsatile action. Weighing 12 ounces (about 375 grams) and measuring about 1.5 inches (4 cm) in diameter and 2.5 inches (6 cm) long, it is significantly smaller than other currently approved devices. As such, it may be suitable for a wider range of patients, including small adults and children. The University of Michigan Center for Circulatory Support participated in the first clinical testing of the HeartMate II® device in the United States.

Syncardia Total Artificial Heart (TAH)

CardioWest™ temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t)

Syncardia Total Artificial Heart (TAH)

 This medical device is the modern version of the Jarvik 7 artificial heart first implanted into Barney Clark in 1982. The CardioWest™ temporary Total Artificial Heart is the only FDA approved temporary total artificial heart in the world. The TAH is used as a bridge to heart transplant for eligible patients suffering from end-stage biventricular failure.


Make an Appointment

To be evaluated at the Michigan Medicine VAD Program, call 888-287-1082 or visit our Make a Cardiovascular Appointment page, where you may fill out a Patient Appointment Request Form and view other details about making an appointment.