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Emily F. Caregiver

HeartMate 3 batteries

Hi all!  I am new to the LVAD caregiver community.  My Father-in-law has his LVAD surgery this Wednesday.  He is a BIG lover of the outdoors so I want to get him a fishing style vest to haul around his equipment in (his backup equipment will be in a bag).  Can anyone with a HeartMate 3 tell me the dimensions of the batteries so I can make sure to find a vest with large enough front/waist level pockets.

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Chris H.


My wife found me a couple great vest with inside pockets on right and left sides to hold the batteries. Makes a world of difference! One style is like a fisherman/photographer vest. It has 4 inside pockets, two lower and two uppers that all fit the batteries. She found them on Amazon for $26.99! Listed under FLYGO Men's Summer Outdoor Work Safari Travel Photo Fishing Vest Multi Pockets. Amazon seems to stock them so they ship pretty quickly. Also, for a more dressy (warmer) option, IZOD has a light weight vest and jacket in the “advantage preformace” line that has deep inside pockets that hold the batteries easily. Very comfortable. They were on sale at Kohl’s lately. We’ve found lots of things already to make my life easier. I wish your Father-in-law the best!

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In reply to by Chris H.

Karen T.

I bought my husband a fishing/journalist vest from Amazon 2 weeks ago for his heart mate 3 and it's been the best vest yet, hes had his LVAD since Sept 2018 and he didn't like the bag or vest that came with it, I've bought 2 more of the vest on Amazon and for 20 dollars they're terrific 

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Michael G.

My Pal has had his Lvad (Heartmate 3) since August this year. We went fishing with him a few times. It really was that hard. We had his batteries and controller just in the bag that they gave him. However, now he has the best that they gave him and he likes it so much better. I would really recommend asking for it. We've noticed after he got it that he was moving around more. 

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In reply to by Michael G.

Gayle W.

God Bless Him. I am 82 and have had my LVAD since Feb. 1st 2010 and I feel great. I do a lot of traveling in the summer, have my own car and do what I want to do. The LVAD has truly been a blessing. Enjoy going to Mayo for my checkups because it is a great hospital. So to your Pal tell him to keep going as long as he can because the VAD is wonderful. It really saved me.
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Larry B.

Hopefully your father-in-laws surgery went well. Not going to waste your time with exact dimensions since you have probably seen for yourself in his hospital room but they are about 3x6 but will measure larger due to the cable adapter on each.

i have several low costs vest that I bought off of You can search for multi pocket travel vest and find many that will work for $25-35. I have this one 5hat is a good winter weight but I won’t wear it in the summer for the same reason

Just search around. Most all of this style vest will have plenty good sized pockets for him. This vest has two large inside pockets where I put the batteries and two inside smaller pockets of which I put my controller in.

there are many clothing choices out there for the active individual. My go to favorites are the cargo shorts/pants. When I play golf my favorites are the football girdle!

Now, tell him to get up and walk! LOL. The faster he can walk the faster his strength will come back and the easier his recovery will be.


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Frank I.

After having my lvad for a year now, what works best for me, is to wear an under vest, or undergarment that is specifically designed for lvad gear.  Over that I wear a  large teeshirt (or not) and then the fishing vest, or outdoor sporting type vest to carry the fishing gear, or camera stuff in my case.  Whatever the occasion calls for. 

The problem with placing lvad gear into the fishing vest pockets, even the inside pockets, which I did for the first half year with my lvad, is you kind of get caught up in seat belts getting in and out of vehicles.  Where as with a specifically designed lvad undergarment: batteries, the controller and cords and such stay secure, snug up against the body.

Also, it took me a good half year to really become stable with my footing, and I did not wade into any water (ankle deep) until that time.  Water, as you have probably been informed, and lvads do not mix.  At least if you want to stay alive.  So if there is any fly fishing in his future, make sure to question his assessment of his own balance on uneven terrain, and thoroughly consider the risk of wading out into too deep, or rapidly moving water.  A mistake there could be fatal, and if not that, very, very expensive and painful to recover from.

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In reply to by Frank I.


I have some Orvis fishing vests that I use when traveling by plane or into secured buildings, but like the commenter above, I have found that the LVAd TEE Shirts -- Which I buy through Etsy are generally the most comfortable thing to wear.  If you are in a cooler climate, then Patty? has a pattern which she will give you which can be adapted to your F-I-L's bodywhich is even better.  That I wear over a tee shirt and under an outer shirt.  The fishing vest was a great improvement over what they gave me in the hospital, but no wheres near as comfortable as the above 2 options. 

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In reply to by Anonymous


Incidentally, a very high percentage of LVAD recipients get driveline infections.  I made it for 1 1/3 years before I got my infection after rototilling the garden (i'm in my 70s).  I got very sweaty.  I should have taken a shower and changed my dressing, but I didn't.  If he sweats, make sure he promptly cleans up and changes his dressing. 

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Douglas N.


i tried a hunting vest but by going online to the LVAD website, I found a solution I like better.  They have special shirts that have a pocket under each arm for a battery.  The down about the naval is a pocket for the control device.  I wear one of these shirts every day.  They are pricy at $100 a shirt but I would not be without mine.


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Craig S.


y husband has had his LVAD since June, 2018.  We found the vests don't solve the problem of the cords being tucked away so you don't get tangled up with door knobs or grandchildren, etc.  My husband loves his T-Shirt vest from Medi Materials vest.  It keeps all the equipment close to your body and out of reach from anything.  He puts on a regular shirt and no one can tell he has an LVAD.  Here is the site for the vest.  We did do a few adjustments as they don't have too many sizes, but it is well worth it and the cost isn't too bad.  They are about $60.00.  

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Stephen H.

Hi, I wear Scott e vests. I buy them when they're on sale. They have inside pockets for the batteries and the controller. Outside pockets that look a lot like a fisherman's vest. Seems to be pockets all over the place when I'm looking for something.


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John S.

Take a look at the Freedom Undervest at

It’s usually $49.95

Use the promotional code THANKS and receive a 30% discount through New Year’s Eve. 

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Meghan R.

Hello!  I new to this group, and a new caregiver for my father.  He received a Heartmate 3 pump 2 days ago.  I know there is a long road ahead with many milestones to accomplish.  Any tips for me as a caregiver?

One of the questions that comes to mind:  Can extra batteries be purchased.  I looked on-line and can't seem to find anything reliable.  I saw many on EBAY, but that is not a chance we will take.

Any tips that come to mind to get us started on the right foot?

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In reply to by Meghan R.

Valerie H.

My husband had his LVAD surgery last December. He has the Heartmate 3, and he was discharged with 8 batteries (which are plenty). His health insurance is Medicare.

Right now, 4 batteries are in his charger, 2 are in his backup bag, and he's wearing 2. He switches from electric to 2 batteries around 7:00 AM each morning, and he switches back to electric around 10:00 PM (as he prepares for bed). He usually has a couple of bars of power left on his batteries at the end of the day.

We rotate the batteries so they all have about the same usage.

As far as tips, my husband wasn't a fan of the bag that houses the controller and batteries.

He used a multi-pocket fishing vest (Olympina) with large inside pockets (from Amazon for less than $30) for a while. In the summer, he opted for LVAD shirts (sold on Etsy). The shirts tend to be pricey (close to $100).