• UK HealthCare has plans for a unique surgical approach for heart failure patients.
  • LVADs are used in this medical treatment.

University of Kentucky (UK) is offering a new and unique approach for heart failure patients. Using ventricular assist device, the new approach can help even those heart patients who have had bypass surgeries, Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy (CRT), Internal Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD). Primarily the new approach uses Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD).

A Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) is defined as a mechanical device that supports the patient’s heart by pumping blood through the body when the heart cannot perform properly. This considered to be a short-term placement until a heart transplant can be possible for a patient. It can also be considered as a long-term support in patients who cannot receive a heart transplant.

The new approach is a brainchild of Dr. Emma Birks, and Dr. Rajasekhar Malyala. Dr. Birks is a heart failure cardiologist. She is also the professor as well as Section Chief in Heart Failure in the Department of Cardiology in UK. Dr. Malyala is a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon. He is also an assistant professor of surgery.

Dr. Birks said that the new surgical approach did not involve fully opening the chest of patient. The benefits offered to patients in the new technique include reduced complications and reduced hospital stay. Earlier, LVADs were placed in the chest of patient through sternotomy. Now, LVADs can be placed via a thoracotomy. This follows the crux of new approach.