Tampa General Hospital Implants 500th HeartMate Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) in Patient with Advanced Heart FailurePublished: Dec 22, 2023
The milestone is a result of the innovation, world-class care and expertise that define
Tampa General Hospital.
The HeartMate LVAD is a surgically inserted mechanical circulatory pump that works in conjunction with the heart to help blood circulate through the body. The pump allows heart failure patients to live a more-normal life. It is currently the only durable pump in the United States approved for implantation, and it is the most advanced device in this field. The HeartMate LVAD uses a patented technology (Full MagLev Flow Technology) to protect blood as it flows through the pump.
“What’s so remarkable about this surgery is that it could also be implanted minimally invasively. We make an incision near the top and the left side of the patient’s breastbone and insert the HeartMate,” said Dr. Lucian Lozonschi, director of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Center of Excellence, Tampa General Hospital, and professor and chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery in the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine. “We don’t have to fully open the patient’s chest, which can be beneficial for patients during their recovery and the HeartMate can even be implanted in patients with several previous heart surgeries.”
For the 6.2 million adults in the U.S. suffering from chronic heart failure, the HeartMate can reverse the symptoms of heart failure, allowing patients the opportunity to live up to 10 and 15 years longer.
“These machines are paramount to success in treating heart failure,” said Dr. Debbie Rinde-Hoffman, FACC, FACP, FHFSA, vice chief of the TGH Heart and Vascular Institute, Business Development, collaborative associate professor at the Division of Cardiology at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and a specialist in mechanical circulatory support, advanced heart failure and transplant cardiology. “With the use of HeartMate, we can send patients home with a durable implant, and sometimes patients recover from heart failure and we can discontinue mechanical circulatory support altogether.”
The HeartMate expands access to care for patients with advanced heart failure who may not be candidates for a heart transplant. Because the device provides adequate blood perfusion to the body, it establishes the same 1-, 2- and 5-year survival as heart transplants. The LVAD supports patients waiting to receive a heart transplant as well as patients who either are ineligible for heart transplants due to degree of heart failure illness, other medical conditions or who choose not to proceed with cardiac transplantation. In some cases, implantation of the HeartMate LVAD can allow patients who need to treat other health conditions (such as obesity or cancer) to become eligible for a heart transplant.
“In 2022, there were 3,365 patients in the U.S. who were on the waiting list for a heart, and this number doesn’t even include those in need of circulatory support who don’t qualify for a transplant,” said Dr. Ioana Dumitru, medical director of the TGH Mechanical Circulatory Support Program, which treats patients with advanced heart disease. “These patients can’t afford to wait, and the HeartMate can provide a better quality of life.”
Tampa General is ranked among the top 10% of hospitals in the nation for Cardiology and Heart Surgery in the 2023-2024 U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals list. Tampa General’s Medical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program has been involved in all landmark U.S. trials for durable VADs since the 1990s, including the ones that led to early approval of the latest version, the HeartMate 3 LVAD in 2017 and 2018.
To learn more about the renowned Heart Failure Center of Excellence at Tampa General, please visit TGH Heart Failure Center of Excellence.