A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a pump that is used to help the heart circulate blood around the body. It is attached to the heart in patients with advanced heart failure. 

LVADs work by moving blood from the main pumping chamber of the heart (left ventricle) into the main artery (aorta) – which carries blood to all parts of the body. They can help extend the lives and improve the health of patients with advanced heart failure. 

An LVAD can be used as a bridge to:

  • transplantation so the healthcare team can make sure the patient is well enough for heart transplant surgery
  • recovery for some patients with certain types of heart disease where the LVAD can help the heart to rest and recover enough so that a transplant is no longer needed. This means that the LVAD can be removed, however it isn’t possible to predict or guarantee that the heart can recover. 


It is not possible to guarantee that an LVAD can be removed once it has been fitted. This means an LVAD is part of a longer-term treatment for some patients. 

Heart failure means the heart has become less effective in pumping blood around the body.


If you have any questions, please contact us through the main switchboard at Harefield Hospitals on 01895 823 737 and ask for the VAD team. 

Read about our clinical nurse specialists in mechanical circulatory support.