Heart and Vascular

Heart Failure

Heart and Vascular

Heart Failure

Skip Menu

Ventricular Assist Devices

Helping hearts work better without a transplant

If you have heart failure, and are waiting or ineligible for a heart transplant, our providers may recommend a ventricular assist device to improve your quality of life. We will guide you through the entire decision-making process to make sure this treatment is right for you. We’re here to answer your questions! Call the Ventricular Assist Device team at (614) 566.3175

What is a ventricular assist device?

Your heart is important because it pumps blood, oxygen and nutrients through your body. When heart disease weakens the lower chambers of your heart, a ventricular assist device helps it continue to do its job. This can make it easier for you to stay active, by relieving symptoms, like being tired and out of breath.

Ventricular assist devices are implanted in your chest through a surgical procedure. They must be powered by a battery or electrical wall outlet through a cord that extends from your abdomen.

When is a ventricular assist device recommended?

The OhioHealth Ventricular Assist Device team suggest patients and referring providers consider these devices for two reasons:

Bridge to transplant: It can take months to learn if you qualify for a heart transplant, and years to get one if you do. While you’re waiting, your heart will continue to get sicker. A ventricular assist device will keep your heart pumping and give you more time.

Destination therapy: If you are not a heart transplant candidate, ventricular assist devices can make life more comfortable and even prolong it.

Our evaluation process

We will only recommend a ventricular assist device to you if we believe it is in your best interest. The process to make that decision involves testing, physical examinations, discussions with you, and collaboration among multiple experts who know your case inside and out. If the team believes other treatments or therapies may serve you better, they will let you know.


Physical examination

Our providers will perform a full-body exam to make sure your body can handle surgery, including checking your teeth and mouth.

Medical history review

We will ask you about your health, routine exams you had in the last year, past surgeries and blood transfusions, allergies, and lifestyle habits, like smoking, drinking and substance use.

Physician visits

You will meet with a cardiologist, surgeon, palliative care specialist, dietitian, social worker and nurses to establish your goals, make sure you’re prepared for surgery and help you make lasting lifestyle changes.

Tests and procedures

We may perform X-rays and blood, breathing and stress tests to check the health of your heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other organs.

Why you can trust OhioHealth

When you’re living with heart failure, there’s so much more to think about than just your heart. So at OhioHealth, we’ve created a Heart Failure program that prioritizes what’s important to you.

When you choose OhioHealth for ventricular assist device surgery, you get exceptional doctors with extensive experience in keeping hearts healthy. Every decision you have to make about your care will be supported by a team of experts who spend time getting to know you.


We believe your care should be convenient, too. So at our Advanced Heart and Vascular Center in the McConnell Heart Hospital, you’ll be able to meet with your entire care team and have the testing you need in a single visit. And when it’s time for follow-up care after your procedure, you can find everything you need close to home at treatment centers across central Ohio.