Heart and Vascular

Heart and Vascular Center


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Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)


Congestive heart failure (CHF) is a huge problem, it remains the number one expense for Medicare ($39 billion annually) and there are nearly 6 millionLVAD people in the United States with heart failure. Advanced CHF not only significantly limits life expectancy—with a typical prognosis of six to 12 months — but it robs patients of their quality of life, often leaving them too short of breath or too tired to go out, travel or even dress themselves, with hospital stays becoming more frequent. While medical treatment has certainly advanced, disease progression is inevitable, albeit unpredictable. Frequently, advanced CHF becomes a progressively downward spiral, an existence punctuated with frequent hospitalizations with an average readmission rate of 25 percent within a month of an index hospitalization. While heart transplant remains the gold standard treatment, only 2,500 donor hearts are available each year.

A combination of advances in engineering with a significant inflow of venture capital has led to increasingly sophisticated mechanical circulatory support platforms - LVADs - that are capable of fully supporting the function of the left side of the heart. The idea is not new, but it has taken decades to produce pumps that can offer nearly the same quality of life and survival as heart transplantation. The HeartMate II LVAD is currently the only such pump that is FDA approved for patients with end-stage heart failure whether or not they qualify for transplant. The operation is both less lengthy and much less invasive than previous generation devices, recovery times are faster, two-year survival now rivals transplantation at up to 75 percent. Compared to a two-year survival of only 8 percent with optimal medical management available only a decade ago, the current survival rate represents a dramatic improvement.

UT is pleased to offer this technology to the Toledo community and surrounding area. Our LVAD program operates as a partnership with both the University of Michigan and The Ohio State University to offer heart transplantation for those who may qualify. This program and its partnerships uniquely position UT to offer a total comprehensive heart-failure treatment program in collaboration with all cardiovascular specialists within the community. To ensure success, an integrated team approach to the management of these complex patients, encompassing input from all providers, is absolutely necessary. If you would like to speak with one of our physicians about our program or refer a patient, please call 419.383.5150 or 419.383.3963 and we will be happy to work with you.

UTMC Heart Failure Team Physicians: UTMC Heart Failure Team Nurse Practitioners:
Thomas Schwann MD, Cardiothoracic Surgery
Theresa Garris CNP, Cardiology
Samer Khouri MD, Cardiology Connie Mueller CNP, LVAD Coordinator
George Mourkarbel, MD Cardiology Jennifer Salamon CNP, LVAD Coordinator
Last Updated: 2/22/18