Sometimes used as a "bridge-to-transplant" or as a permanent therapy alternative called "destination therapy," the LVAD is a mechanical pump-type device that is surgically implanted to help maintain the pumping ability of a heart that is unable to effectively function on its own. These mechanical heart pumps can significantly improve a patient's health and survival rate.

One typical type of LVAD involves a tube connected to the left ventricle that directs blood from the ventricle into a pump. The pump then sends blood into the aorta (the large blood vessel leaving the left ventricle), which effectively bypasses the weakened ventricle.

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