Ventricular assist devices or "VADs" – also commonly referred to as LVADs – are surgically implanted mechanical pumps used to increase cardiac output of one or both of the heart’s ventricles. This increases the amount of blood per minute pumped by the heart. A VAD is generally for patients living with end-stage heart failure, also known as congestive heart failure (CHF)).

VADs have four basic components:

  • A pump which is surgically attached to the heart
  • An external computer or controller which runs the system
  • A power source of batteries and/or a direct connection to an electrical outlet
  • A cable or driveline connecting the internal and external components

About our program

logo: Joint CommissionThe Inova Heart and Vascular Institute at Inova Fairfax Medical Campus in Falls Church, Virginia is one of the busiest ventricular assist programs in the Mid-Atlantic, and has earned The Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval for exemplary, quality care and service.

Inova's heart failure program is a leader in Northern Virginia and one of the Washington, DC, region's only CMS-certified heart transplant programs. We are a leader in the development and use of VADs for patients living with end-stage heart failure.

Inova participates in research to develop improved devices for both bridge-to-transplant and destination therapy. Learn more about Inova's current heart-related clinical trials arrows

The Inova Heart and Vascular Institute team of physicians not only care about the technical aspects of VADs but also what happens once they are planted.  Learn about the expert doctors on our team arrow

A shortage of donor hearts means patients are waiting for heart transplants longer. Therefore, more patients are being implanted with VADs as a bridge to transplant. Many of these patients are doing so well that they opt to have their name removed from the transplant list. For those patients who require a heart transplant, we host monthly education conferences prior to surgery and also offer support groups for our post-transplant patients (see below).

Patient support group

Inova Heart and Vascular Institute is pleased to offer the Heart and Lung Transplant/VAD Artificial Heart support and education group. The group meets the first Tuesday of every month from 1 to 2 p.m. in the Inova Heart & Vascular Institute Conference Center, ground floor. VAD patients meet until 2:30 p.m. Call 703-776-7076.