A ventricular assist device (VAD) or artificial heart can greatly improve quality of life, but they also bring some unique challenges. We prepare you, your family and caregivers, and your community to live with a mechanical circulatory support device.
We view every patient as a member of our own family. We're sensitive to the complexities of life - family, financial, social - and we pay as much attention to the personal aspect of care as to the technical side.
Your physicians will help you and your family prepare for the ventricular assist device (VAD) or artificial heart procedure.
Our active patient peer mentoring network connects new patients with current patients who have lived through the experience. Ask your provider to connect you to an existing patient.
After VAD implantation, most patients spend up to one month in the hospital. During this time, the VAD coordinator and nursing team educate patients on how to manage the day-to-day aspects of living with the device, including:
Before the procedure and after discharge, we require patients to live near UCLA for three months to quickly receive any preparation, follow-up care and monitoring that's needed. Learn more lodging and nearby services, including the UCLA Tiverton House.
Our care incorporates plans for your return home. For example:
Our VAD coordination team is on-call any time to answer questions.
When you are discharged, our commitment doesn't end, it just changes.
For the first several months after discharge, we'll provide regular care in our clinic:
Many patients continue to receive care from their UCLA physicians after they receive a VAD.
But if you live farther from Los Angeles, you and your UCLA physicians may wish to continue post-VAD care from your local referring physician. If this is the case, we'll help train the physician's staff.
We also offer a detailed, downloadable patient education brochure (PDF) that provides more information, including: