Minimally Invasive LVAD Implantation

In a new procedure designed to expedite patient recovery, cardiac surgeons at the University of Maryland Heart Center have implanted a ventricular assist device using a minimally invasive technique that employs small openings in the chest, a patient-friendly approach that provides the same results as traditional chest-splitting, open-heart surgery for heart pump implantation.

For the patient, the new technique means quicker recovery, reduced chance of infection and minimal blood loss. This minimally invasive approach also reduces the chance of scarring around the heart, a side effect of open heart surgery. When it comes time to do a heart transplant, surgeons always employ an open chest procedure to remove the damaged heart and connect the large blood vessels entering and leaving the new heart. The scar tissue can prolong and complicate the removal of the damaged organ.

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