Our ventricular assist device (VAD) and artificial heart program goes hand-in-hand with our leading heart transplant program. UCLA's hospitals also have the capacity to support patients from infancy through adulthood.
Our surgeons and cardiologists are highly experienced in all types of mechanical circulatory support, and many have expertise in transplants as well. Learn more about our ventricular assist devices and artificial heart.
Leader in Innovation With New VAD and Artificial Heart Devices
Because of our expertise, clinical researchers and device manufacturers regularly call upon our physicians and other experts to evaluate new technologies.
That means when a new technology is approved, we frequently have experience with it from clinical trials and can make it available to patients very quickly.
- We are using the full-size (70cc) total artificial heart (now in clinical use).
- One of the first in the world to implant the new, smaller (50cc) total artificial heart.
- Among the first to use the Right Sided PROTEK DUO cannula with TandemHeart, a temporary percutaneous right ventricular assist device. Together, this new combination helped keep a patient alive and able to mobilize around until he could receive a heart transplant.
We test many of the newest devices before they are approved for general use. As a result, our surgical teams, cardiomyopathy specialists, nurses and VAD coordinators are among the most experienced and knowledgeable anywhere.
Bridge to Transplant and Destination Therapy
Mechanical circulatory support such as ventricular assist devices (VADs) and artificial hearts can prolong the lives of patients with end-stage heart disease in two ways:
- The devices can serve as a bridge to heart transplant by keeping patients alive while they await a donor organ.
- They can serve as a destination therapy, providing long-term circulatory assistance to patients who are not candidates for transplantation.
Before determining which path to follow, we thoroughly evaluate each patient. This assessment involves:
- Staff committee drawn from various fields - clinical, psychological and social work
- Patient and family input
- Physicians' recommendation
With a mechanical circulatory support device, it is very important to evaluate the patient's quality of life after the surgery. We provide extensive patient education and preparation for patients who will be living with a VAD/artificial heart.