Mechanical Circulatory Support Program

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 6.2 million adults in the United States are living with heart failure. Often used to address advanced heart failure, mechanical circulatory support therapy involves the implantation, often surgically, of a medical device to assist the pumping action of a weakened heart. By augmenting the pumping capacity of the heart, MCS therapy can alleviate heart failure symptoms and improve overall survival, cardiac function and quality of life.

Tampa General Hospital’s renowned Heart & Vascular Institute provides comprehensive cardiac care, including the latest innovations in MCS therapy through our dedicated Heart Failure Center of Excellence. Under the leadership of Dr. Ioana Dumitru, a triple board-certified advanced heart failure and transplant cardiologist and medical director, Dr. Lucian Lozonschi, the first surgeon in the United States to implant the groundbreaking HeartMate 3™ MCS device in the veteran population, our MCS Program provides a full continuum of care for patients with advanced cardiac conditions, such as acute and chronic heart failure, cardiomyopathy and cardiogenic shock.

What Are MCS Devices?

Common types of MCS devices include:

Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVADs)

Designed to provide short- or long-term support to a compromised heart, an LVAD consists of a surgically implanted pump and an external controller and power source, which are connected to the pump via a driveline. Once implanted in the heart, the pump can strengthen or work in conjunction with the left ventricle.

Temporary MCS Devices

A temporary MCS device can provide short-term circulatory and pulmonary support for a transplant patient who is awaiting a donor heart (bridge to transplant). Temporary MCS therapy may also be considered to improve the cardiac risk profile of a patient with a preexisting heart condition who would otherwise not be a candidate for a potentially life-changing high-risk procedure, such as open-heart surgery, valve surgery, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), arrhythmia ablation, cancer surgery or bariatric surgery. Temporary MCS therapy can also be utilized for cardiac support in an attempt to recover full cardiac function.

Additionally, a temporary MCS device can be connected to an oxygenator to provide extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a lifesaving procedure performed to support the heart and lungs while the patient recovers from a life-threatening but reversible cardiovascular event.

Temporary MCS devices—which can assist the left ventricle, right ventricle or both ventricles—include:

  • Impella 5.5® with SmartAssist®
  • Impella CP® with SmartAssist®
  • Impella RP Flex™ with SmartAssist® (TGH is one of only five hospitals in the nation to offer clinical inpatient care for patients with this device)
  • CentriMag™ Acute Circulatory Support System

Durable LVADs

A surgically implanted LVAD can serve as a long-term solution for a patient who has severe heart failure and is either awaiting cardiac transplant or is not a candidate for transplantation. Durable MCS devices—which support only the left ventricle—include:

  • HeartMate 3™ LVAD
  • HeartMate II® LVAD
  • HeartWare® LVAD

What Sets TGH Apart?

In collaboration with the University of South Florida (USF) Health Morsani College of Medicine, TGH’s Heart & Vascular Institute provides comprehensive, next-generation cardiac care backed by academic medicine. Since TGH became the first hospital in Florida to successfully perform a heart transplant in 1985, we have solidified our reputation as an established leader in MCS therapy.

TGH’s MCS Program is one of the first of its kind in Florida as well as the rest of the United States. In 2022, we launched a cardiogenic shock program—the first on the west coast of Florida—which continues to significantly improve survival among critically ill cardiac patients.

Our Multidisciplinary Approach

TGH’s MCS Program brings together a group of experienced healthcare specialists from different fields with the overarching goal of improving patient care and treatment efficiency. Our highly collaborative, multidisciplinary team includes:

  • Board-certified cardiac and vascular surgeons
  • Board-certified heart failure cardiologists
  • General and interventional cardiologists
  • Electrophysiologists
  • Radiologists
  • Intensivists
  • Cardiac anesthesiologists
  • Perfusionists
  • Dedicated cardiac and critical care nurses
  • MCS nurse coordinators
  • Pharmacists
  • Dietitians
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Social workers
  • Supportive care specialists
  • Subspecialty consultants

Working closely together, these outstanding medical professionals deliver compassionate, state-of-the-art care to patients with heart failure, cardiomyopathy and cardiogenic shock. To ensure seamless inpatient care and outpatient coordination, our team is always available to our patients and referring physicians.

Nationally Recognized Cardiac Care

Over the years, TGH has earned nationwide acclaim for providing innovative treatments and achieving excellent outcomes for patients with heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and cardiogenic shock. In 2002, our MCS Program was the first of its kind in Florida to implant a durable LVAD. Since then, we have continued to serve patients throughout the United States and the rest of the world, successfully implanting more than 800 LVADs as of 2023.

For 2023-24, U.S. News & World Report has recognized TGH as “High Performing in Cardiology and Heart Surgery” and named us one of the best hospitals—and among the top 10% in the nation—for heart failure and heart attack care.

Innovations and Clinical Trials

Since the 1990s, the dedicated scientists and clinicians in TGH’s MCS Program have actively participated in groundbreaking research and clinical trials focused on MCS therapy. Currently, our MCS Program is enrolled in several national registries and landmark national and international trials for both short-term MCS and durable LVADs. These include:

  • SURPASS Registry for the Impella 5.5 study
  • Tufts Cardiogenic Shock Working Group Registry (CSWG)
  • LOQI Impella Registry
  • Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support (INTERMACS) database, funded by the United States National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), for FDA-approved MCS devices
  • Multicenter Registry of Impella-Assisted High-Risk Noncardiac Surgery

Through these groundbreaking research studies, TGH brings leading-edge technologies directly to our patients, including those with highly complex and difficult-to-treat conditions. In the interest of all current and future cardiac patients, we continually share our knowledge and expertise with our peers via publications in specialty journals and organized medical conferences.

Benefit From World-Class Care at TGH

If you would like more information about TGH’s MCS Program, please call (813) 844-8220. You can also reach us via email at

To refer a patient directly to our MCS Program, please call (813) 844-8220 or email To refer a patient to the our Heart Failure Center of Excellence, click here for our Heart Failure Referral Form. Candidates for advanced heart failure care can be referred for evaluation for MCS therapy as part of TGH’s continuum of care. Through continued collaboration and partnership with the referring physician, TGH will help to ensure the best possible outcome and quality of life for the patient.

To transfer a patient from another facility, please call 1-800-844-7979. Available 24 hours a day, the TGH Transfer Center can assist with a safe and effective patient transfer.