An LVAD, a Left Ventricular Assist Device, also known as the artificial heart, is attached to the patient's heart for the purpose of pumping blood through their body. The patient's heart is in a condition that can no longer pump blood itself. There are strick requirements to qualify for an LVAD. One is that the patient must first qualify for a heart transplant. Another is the patient must be in severe end-stage heart failure.
This page is not intended to be used for detailed technical information. I would like to clarify that I am writing this casually from my experience. If you require technical information, please go to Thoratec.
As shown below, the LVAD connects to the base of the left side of the heart and also to the aortic valve. The blood is detoured this way and then circulated through the body. The pump is very quiet. Is it continuous flow, not a pump at all really. I hardly have a pulse and a blood pressure. It's difficult to read vitals on me. An EKG is very disturbed and doesn't look like an EKG at all. But somehow, the doctors know what to look for and monitor me very carefully.