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Reasons for Procedure
VADs are used for people with end-stage refractory congestive heart failure that has not responded to medicine. In the heart, the left ventricle does most of the work. It is usually the chamber that fails first. VADs can be used to support the left ventricle, right ventricle, or both. Getting a VAD is a way to improve the heart's ability to pump without having a heart transplant .
A VAD is used most often while you are waiting for a heart transplant. This is known as a bridge to transplant. Newer devices are being studied for long-term support of a failing heart. This is known as destination therapy. Depending on your overall health, you may be able to return to normal activities after you recover.
Heart failure occurs when the heart is too weak to pump all the blood it receives. Blood begins to back up, first into the lungs (if it is the left ventricle that is failing), then into the lower parts of the body so that ankle swelling develops.