I was blessed on my heart transplant journey by not having LVAD, BiVAD, or CardioWest surgery before my transplant. At one point, when I was at my worst, the doctors had told my wife that I needed to go on “Big Blue” (CardioWest, full artificial heart) immediately. She had signed the surgery consent forms and while they were waiting on an OR to open up, I was truly blessed as a heart became available.
Since I started volunteering, I’m seeing an increasing stream of people who are having to have these very difficult surgeries first. From my vantage point, these surgeries really kick the patient’s a$$. But, I also have noted that these patients seem to rebound faster after being transplanted. Faster than those of us that “only” go the transplant route. (Edit- LVAD patients that have had time to recover and regain their strength seem to rebound faster in the opinion of the writer)
The LVAD (Left Ventricle Assist Device) seems to be the most common of the pumps that are being used. The wife of a transplant friend of mine, that had LVAD surgery, made him a nice denim vest to carry the battery packs and all of the other things required to keep the pump running. The vest was a huge hit and many other patients started to request them, so she started a small company making custom fitted LVAD vests.
If you are interested, see the brochure below and/or visit her web site at www.BoscoLVADvest.com