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Left ventricular assist device: lvad

Old 10-23-2019, 08:10 AM
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Default Left ventricular assist device: lvad

Anyone have experience with these things, my father has heart disease is 76 yo and has several other medical issues including diabetes, and the doctors at the hospital gave him the option to implant one of these devices.

I personally think itís a bad idea as he canít even take care of himself as it is and it appears this thing if the surgery is successful is a lot of work for a healthy person nevermind a handicapped diabetic.

iIm hoping someone here may share an experience they know of with these things, Iím gonna support him regardless of what he chooses this just seems like a crazy option for someone who is in such tough shape.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:24 AM
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From my limited experience, that is a very, very, very extensive surgery. I have a buddy who's MIL had it done.

She was also in very bad shape. This was just a temp fix for her while waiting for a heart transplant. The woman is in fact a walking miracle though. She is pushing 80 at this point I think. She went into congestive heart failure maybe half a dozen times. Then they resorted to the LVAD because a heart wasn't available. She got sick after that and almost didn't make it. Then, miraculously, a heart became available. She got the transplant and now is actually doing great.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HookMeUpII View Post
From my limited experience, that is a very, very, very extensive surgery. I have a buddy who's MIL had it done.

She was also in very bad shape. This was just a temp fix for her while waiting for a heart transplant. The woman is in fact a walking miracle though. She is pushing 80 at this point I think. She went into congestive heart failure maybe half a dozen times. Then they resorted to the LVAD because a heart wasn't available. She got sick after that and almost didn't make it. Then, miraculously, a heart became available. She got the transplant and now is actually doing great.
Interesting, Iíd actually be more on board with the idea of my father would even take care of himself a little bit but he doesnít. I asked the dr if there was any disqualifiers physically for the surgery and basically it doesnít sound like there is. If you own a home and can move your hands to change the batteries and your insurance will pay they will perform it. Heís not getting a transplant this would be a final solution for him.
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Old 10-23-2019, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Rival1 View Post


Interesting, Iíd actually be more on board with the idea of my father would even take care of himself a little bit but he doesnít. I asked the dr if there was any disqualifiers physically for the surgery and basically it doesnít sound like there is. If you own a home and can move your hands to change the batteries and your insurance will pay they will perform it. Heís not getting a transplant this would be a final solution for him.
Sounds like the only option really. For my buddy's MIL, she was pretty proactive with her recovery. In other words, I would assume if those batteries needed changing...she was on it.

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Old 10-23-2019, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Rival1 View Post


Interesting, Iíd actually be more on board with the idea of my father would even take care of himself a little bit but he doesnít. I asked the dr if there was any disqualifiers physically for the surgery and basically it doesnít sound like there is. If you own a home and can move your hands to change the batteries and your insurance will pay they will perform it. Heís not getting a transplant this would be a final solution for him.
If heís of sound mind and wants to potentially live a few months longer, than go for it. If heís not of sound mind, then how bad does the rest of the family want him alive longer. His quality of life will probably be shitty... but it might be worth it for yíall.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Rival1 View Post
Anyone have experience with these things, my father has heart disease is 76 yo and has several other medical issues including diabetes, and the doctors at the hospital gave him the option to implant one of these devices.

I personally think itís a bad idea as he canít even take care of himself as it is and it appears this thing if the surgery is successful is a lot of work for a healthy person nevermind a handicapped diabetic.

iIm hoping someone here may share an experience they know of with these things, Iím gonna support him regardless of what he chooses this just seems like a crazy option for someone who is in such tough shape.
LVADís are for patientís with more than heart disease. Patients getting LVADs are normally waiting for a transplant. There are different types of VADs. Simple terms for an LVAD they stitch tubing straight into the left ventricle with a motor providing constant blood flow. They have become a lot more common in South Florida over the last few years. The first time I ran into one at work, Miami Jackson was the only LVAD center in the area and now multiple hospitals in the tri-county area can see patients with them. Itís definitely a big decision and I donít know whatís in your area. Like any other major surgery or device there are complications. I would also consider his wishes. I am far from an expert. Iím sure if the doctor suggested then he has his reasons but normally with an LVAD thereís not many options. Good luck and sorry your in this position.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:14 PM
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I had a neighbor who had one. He was younger and he was up and walking before he got it. He had a good life (able to get out and be driven to a restaurant) for about a year, then had a year of being bedridden and miserable before he said enough called in hospice and had it discontinued.

I say it here a lot (great experience with my parents) but get a hospice consult, it's another option.
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Old 10-23-2019, 12:55 PM
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Old 10-23-2019, 02:26 PM
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I have a fair bit of experience in dealing with circulatory mechanical devices. LVADs, especially Heartmate 4, can be helpful to improve quality of life and duration. It is an extensive surgery. The device is intimidating until you get educated on it. Patients have LVADs now for more than 10 yrs. It's a game changer for patients and their families.
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