[Skip to content]

Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust
For patients & carers
Search our Site

Left ventricular assist device (LVAD)

A left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is a pump that is attached to the heart helping it to circulate blood around the body.

The LVAD works by moving blood from the main pumping chamber of the heart (the left ventricle) into the main artery (aorta), which carries blood to all parts of the body. An LVAD can help where a patient's heart is not working well enough to pump blood through the body.


What are LVADs used for?

LVADs can extend the lives and improve the health of patients with advanced heart failure. Most patients find that they have fewer symptoms, find exercising easier and that their quality of life improves.


An LVAD can be used:

  • As a bridge to transplantation - so the healthcare team can make sure the patient is well enough for heart transplant surgery in the future.

  • As a bridge to recovery for some patients with certain types of heart disease - an LVAD can help the heart to rest and recover enough so that a transplant is no longer needed, and the LVAD can be removed. However, it is not possible to predict or guarantee that the heart can recover.


It is not possible to guarantee that an LVAD can be removed once it has been fitted. It is important to understand that an LVAD could become a long-term treatment.


If you have any questions, please contact us through the main switchboard at Harefield Hospitals on 01895 823 737 and ask for the VAD team. 

Royal Brompton

Sydney Street,
London SW3 6NP
Tel: +44 (0)20 7352 8121


Read about our clinical nurses specialists in mechanical circulatory support