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Saint Thomas Heart VAD Center

Nothing Shall Be Impossible

The Saint Thomas Heart VAD Center is committed to meeting the needs of the sickest heart failure patients in Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky by providing lifesaving and life changing results through the use of implantable  VADs-or Ventricular Assist Devices. VADs are designed for patients with severe heart failure who have exhausted traditional forms of treatment. A VAD implant takes over the pumping function of the heart. It is surgically attached to the left ventricle and the aorta- the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the entire body. An external, wearable system—that includes a small controller and two batteries-is attached by an external driveline. The wearable system is either worn under or on top of clothing.



VAD equipment -- external_equipment.jpgVADs can be used to support patients and improve their quality of life while they wait for a donor heart to become available. This is known as "Bridge-to-Transplantation." However, in some cases, patients may not be a candidate for a heart transplant due to age or other related medical conditions. In this instance, a VAD may be used as a permanent option. Usage of the device in this manner is known as "Destination Therapy." Without this therapy, advanced heart failure patients would have extremely poor prospects for survival and a very limited lifestyle.

Saint Thomas Heart is a Destination Therapy certified program in Middle Tennessee. This means that Saint Thomas West Hospital is a provider certified to offer the newest battery operated heart pump as a life-saving permanent solution to treat congestive heart failure. For more information about the Saint Thomas Heart VAD Center, please call 888.655.LVAD (5823).

Patient Testimonials

Ruby Howell -- ruby-howell.jpgRuby Howell - A heart transplant wasn't an option for Ruby. But destination therapy was. Through the combined care of the cardiac specialists at Saint Thomas Heart at Saint Thomas Midtown Hospital and Saint Thomas West Hospital, Ruby's heart was given new life by implanting a ventricular assist device (VAD) which helps the weakened heart pump blood throughout the body. Now Ruby's improved strength has allowed her to get back to what she loves most - singing in the choir at Galilee Missionary Baptist Church.