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Tom's picture Tom
Tactile holster T shirt for carrying LVAD items
Tue, 02/16/2016 - 10:13pm

I am a new LVAD patient, and I have the HeartWare pump and controller. I just modified a 5.11 tactical shirt. I sewed in an 1 1/2 elastic strap to the shirt across my lower chest to act as a belt for holding the controller. With batteries in the holster pockets and my controller just above my stomach, all the weight is amazingly well distributed. I made the belt in two pieces, one attached to each side, and they are connected with sewn in hook stays. This way I can thread the strap through my mini LVAD pouch. I just ordered another shirt, and for my next go around I will make a new pouch and sew it to the elastic. This way the elastic can be just be one piece with no hook stays. I highly recommend this arrangement for LVAD patients.

sally's picture sally
Tactile holster
Fri, 02/19/2016 - 11:35am

Hi Tom: Make a Video of what you did and post it. I made a You Tube video. Feel free to view it: LVAD living with Sally

daughterofaLVADdad's picture daughterofaLVADdad
Tactile Holster
Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:11pm

This is my first post on the forums as I just joined. Thank you so much for the info on how you are managing the controller. I am a daughter of an LVAD dad and I have found information regarding carrying the batteries and we have been using the concealed carry vest (ours is from 5-11 brand) and my dad loves it but we are still trying to figure out the best way to carry the controller. My dad has tried a waist pack (fanny pack type) but he feels like it slides down on him so were are looking for alternatives. My dad had his LVAD placed in Feb. 2016. I must say on this forum how proud I am of him and the whole LVAD community. I am so grateful for this forum and want to extend to all LVAD recipients how amazing and strong and pioneering you all are. You are modern heroes in the fight against Heart Failure. I love my dad so much and that love extends to this community. Stay strong on days that are tough and enjoy those days where you are feeling better. I can't tell you how much all your stories help. Thank you. It means the world to be able to talk and have support.

Tom's picture Tom
Belt for controller and batteries
Mon, 03/21/2016 - 9:34pm

I found that the concealed carry shirt was too hot as things starting heating up here in Atlanta, so I designed an on-the-belt solution with a pouch for the controller in the middle with battery pouches on each side. Unlike the Heartware belt, mine has the battery pouches attached to the center controller pouch via a flexible elastic webbing. I use a nylon web belt and thread it through my belt loops when wearing around my waist. I pull the belt out and re-thread it just through the controller pouch for removing everything for restroom calls. It is very comfortable to wear and will probably be my final solution for living with a LVAD. I a new LVAD user, since early January this year, and also new to this forum. I don't know yet how to post pictures, but can do so if anyone is interested. My wife laughed when I bought a sewing machine to make it.

Rnhinojosa's picture Rnhinojosa
heartware lvad waist pack
Thu, 05/26/2016 - 6:21am (Reply to #4)

I would like more information on this belt.

If possible please email me a picture at
RNHinojosa@aol.com

Thanks

72bflatbrass's picture 72bflatbrass
LVAD shirt
Tue, 03/22/2016 - 12:48pm

Hi ,I found this site http://www.undertechundercover.com/. got three for 119.00. Fit is snug so get it one size larger than normal. Sizes small to 3xl. Cold water wash, hang up to dry dries quickly. These are made to hold a pistol, so you need to modify it to fit the batteries. I've had mine for 6 months, I find it easier than the bag or the harness, and easy to take care of.

chuckfitz1942's picture chuckfitz1942
Controller Holder
Tue, 04/05/2016 - 2:26pm

I just found a great holder for the controller at Bed Bath and Beyond. It is made by Flip Belt, flipbelt.com . It is designed for carrying a cell phone, cards, keys, cash or whatever.
However I found it works just fine with the controller. It is a 2-3 inch wide stretchable material like a large head band. It has two slots to hold devices. The larger slot fits the controller and it is out of the way and very comfortable. I am 34" in the waist and the medium size fits just fine. Thanks

Mbdayo's picture Mbdayo
Flip belt
Thu, 04/28/2016 - 4:22pm (Reply to #7)

Hi Chuck,

My name is Mateo. This looks like a wonderful option. What do you do with the batteries. I've considered tactical shirts, but I'm a large man (XXL) and I find that the battery cables aren't long enough to slide in the holsters. Anyway. Thanks and I hope to hear from you soon

Mbdayo's picture Mbdayo
Flip belt
Mon, 05/02/2016 - 12:51pm (Reply to #8)

Hey chuck. I got the flip belt. I don't understand how you got it to work. Which LVAD do you use because my Heartware controller can't fit. Thanks

Lynn's picture Lynn
Controller holder
Thu, 04/21/2016 - 2:22pm

I just looked up that belt on line and I'm going to get that for my grandson. Thanks for the info. And for anther option I have heard of people using a football girdle. My grandson didn't like it because he also has a aka. But it has three pockets and you wear it inside out. Get the one from under armour.

dmadsteve's picture dmadsteve
Under Armour
Thu, 10/06/2016 - 8:57pm (Reply to #10)

They also carry a 5-pocket Underwear that is another option. They have a front middle pocket along with two additional pockets on the hips and two on the thighs. My husband likes to wear the batteries using the top hip pockets and puts the controller in the front pocket (not sure if it allows pump to 'breathe" or if safe for patient or controller). You can look on Amazon but I wound up paying a bit more and ordered them from Dick's Sporting Goods (assume any sports store should be able to help you). Hope this helps.

deanharris's picture deanharris
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Fri, 04/22/2016 - 5:16am

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washbroo's picture washbroo
LVAD Support
Wed, 04/27/2016 - 8:53pm

Received Heartmate II on March 8th. I do not sew, so turned to commercially available attire. Two have worked for me. the Bosco vest and Raznick vest. Different styles, but both effective. I am leaning toward acquiring another Raznick vest which I really like. Both organizations will work with you for fitting and also will make custom changes. Both have available information, pricing, etc. at their websites. Just Google Bosco VD vest, or Raznick VAD vest. Googling VAD vests in general will give these two, plus others. You can then make your own decision as to whether they are what you are looking for.

RomeLaw's picture RomeLaw
I've read about lots of
Sat, 06/11/2016 - 2:22pm

I've read about lots of people complaining about the extra weight of their LVAD. I totally sympathize. When I first got my LVAD i went with the shoulder bag and it left me with massive kinks in my neck.

The Solution: I got some cargo shorts. I cut some small holes in the top of the cargo pockets closest to the center line. This way I put the controller into the "belt holder" they give you that you can run a belt through. Then I run the power lines over (to prevent pant sagging) the belt and down through the inside of the Cargo pants through the holes. Inside the Cargo pockets i place my batteries upside down and connect the power lines. Of course one battery in each pocket. There's about 4 inches of "give" so the battery lines are not strained. The batteries can actually slide down sideways on their own depending on the size of the cargo pockets. I love it because it shifts the weight of the LVAD to my lower body, which handles it well.

I've had my LVAD since Jan 2014 and this has worked out GREAT. I wear it like this every single day and MOST people never see any hint that i'm even wearing an LVAD. Not to mention it feels so much more secure in that there's NO hitching of the power lines or driveline on anything. I've spoken to lots of people in waiting rooms that ask whether i'm worried about damaging the machine. I'm not because I've got two years of wear without a single issue. However, I will say that I believe the "accidental" YANK of a shoulder bag off your shoulder, PULLING your drive line is the easiest way in my mind to cause bleeding and infection.

IMPORTANT Warning: One thing I'll say, is ALWAYS SIT to put the cargo shorts on. When you're standing and trying to lift your leg into the pants, if you fall over you could possibly snag your leg on the pants and really YANK your driveline. So sit down when sliding your pants on and off.

I'm not savvy enough to figure out how to load a picture.

Gary-L's picture Gary-L
I have the shirt too and love it.
Wed, 09/14/2016 - 1:34pm

Could you make a movie on U tube how you did that?

Bhicks's picture Bhicks
Hello all, I am sharing my
Fri, 05/19/2017 - 9:46am

Hello all, I am sharing my experience with you, as we are all going through similar things. I have purchased a Rod Carew LVAD shirt that I absolutely love and thankful someone recommended it to me. https://carewmedicalwear.com/ I have went through a lot trying to wear my vad comfortably and unnoticeable. This has really solved my insecurity. I can highly recommend this lvad wear for anyone unable to find one that works, or if you're unsure of which one to purchase. This one holsters all my equipment and does not get in my way, as I have to work hard to lose some lbs to get on the list. If I am not wearing this, my cardiac rehab people do not let me get a good workout in, as they are worried about the vulnerability of my equipment in the hospital issued holster or side bag.

TerryW's picture TerryW
I love the Rod Carew one too.
Fri, 06/30/2017 - 2:03pm (Reply to #16)

I love the Rod Carew one too. Very well designed