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Jocelyn N. Family Member

New LVAD patient coming home soon - anything we absolutely need, equipment-wise?

Hi friends -- My dad will be returning home from the hospital with an LVAD sometime in the next week, and I'm trying to help him out by purchasing some gear/accessories that will make his life a little easier and more comfortable once he gets here and adjusts to his new equipment. Because of scouring previous discussions here, I've found a stretchy belt for sleeping with deep pockets that seems like a lifesaver, as well as a concealed carry tee he can put his batteries in and wear like an undershirt, but I'd love to hear from some of you directly: What are your favorite LVAD-friendly clothing pieces, ways to wear your batteries, or accessories for sleeping/showering, etc. What do we really need, to make life easier? Thanks so much for any suggestions! In case you're interested, too, here's what I got him for sleeping: And the concealed carry tee: (Although we can't speak to how well they're working out, because he's not home yet. I'll report back!)
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Julie J.

Hi Jocelyn! We really like the shirts, vest and bags from Brent, the owner of LVAD Gear has an LVAD and has perfected the right products for LVAD recipients. Check out the site and contact him with any questions. He also is on Facebook and other sites. Here are reviews from his Facebook page: Take care
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Cathy K.

My husband got his LVAD 4 months ago and while we purchased the LVAD shirts and belts to sleep he has since just went to wearing a pair of shorts to bed and lays the controller next to him, he really doesn't toss and turn at night so this works best for him and no cumbersome clothing to wear at night. The TruSpec conceal and carry shirt you mentioned works best for my husband when exercising and I just sewed a pocket to the front for his controller. If you sew or know someone who does play around with what type of shirts work best for him. I haven't sewed in years but bought a machine and have been playing around with shirt ideas-the latest one he really finds comfortable is a sleeveless Russell polyester shirt we bought at Walmart for $10 and turn up the hem all the way around 8 inches this makes one large pocket all the way around the shirt. After that I section it off where he wanted the controller and batteries by just sewing up and down to make the size pockets he needs, for example the controller is in front which is a 4 inch wide pocket and the batteries he likes to wear more toward the side of his body to even out the weight out, they are 9.5 inches long and the I sew along top of pocket to leave an opening at the top that is only 5.5 inches, this way it holds batteries in if he bend over to pick something up off the floor for example. The he just wears another shirt overtop when he goes out or to Cardiac Rehab. Hope this doesn't sound too confusing, mostly it is trial and error to find what works for you-we live in Florida so finding lightweight clothing has been the best for him. Good Luck!
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Karen W.

My husband has been wearing Maria Ruzich's vests for years now. The batteries and controller are concealed and the vests look great. The fabric is high quality and her sewing skills are excellent. She is a professional seamstress and her personalized customer service is exceptional. My husband found that the concealed carry shirts were hot and of course the controller generates its own heat. Maria's vests are ventilated inside and durable as well as handsome. He had a heart transplant last year and still wears her vests for a more dressed-up look. I don't know how you have set up the dressing change table but we used a lap table with folding legs and my husband laid on the bed under it while I used that as my sterile field.
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In reply to by Terry H.

Lee S.

I use cargo pants and shorts in the warmer weather. Can't do that weight on my shoulders or neck. I put the batteries in the cargo pockets and the monitor in the front pocket or put the batteries in the front pockets and the monitor in one of the cargo pockets and velco the wires together. You do see the wires but so be it. I'm not trying to hide anything anymore. Comfort is the key!! I used a LVAD shirt to go to out to dinner and I thought it was very uncomfortable. I felt like the Incredible Hulk trying to get a polo shirt over the batteries. I'm only 5'5" so I feel like the batteries engulf me. I have bags to carry but don't like dragging a bag around. Alot more freedom with the cargo pants. For sleeping I just connect to wall power and lay the monitor right beside me and sleep like a baby. No issues with the driveline getting tangled at all. It's been 16 months since my implant and I feel like it's always going to be a work in to speak. But I think I have pretty well adapted. Wish you the best Terry. Reach out if you need to!!

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In reply to by Lee S.

Greg B.

Lee S

would you consider posting a picture showing your setup of the cargo shorts? please? i am using the lvad shirt and those dang hard case batteries are rubbing my ribs raw!

i have a leather LVAD vest but you cannot wear a vest with everything!

i am looking at a redesign the batteries to use Pouch type cells. the walls are much softer not mention lighter!

in my pre LVAD days i was using a lot of Lithium Ion cells for Solar Power systems.

Lee i would appreciate you posting a pic of how you wear them.

Thx in advance!


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In reply to by Greg B.

Lee S.

Hey Greg

Not to sure on how to post a picture on this site of how I wear my batteries but if you find the post that is listed as "A great Way to Wear Your Batteries"from Adienne  there is a post from Larry B and 2 pics on the way he wears them. I do the same thing. I just can't do the shirts....they rub....there're to heavy to carry there and neck and shoulders can't do the weight. The legs can!!

Hope you find that post



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In reply to by Mariza M.

Diane B.

Not sure which shirt you are referring to. Check the attached link. Hopefully that helps .  Diane

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Bob W.

I have been using T Shirts by LVAD Gear for over 4 yrs, well made and they are really comfortable.

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Robert R.

I have had my lvad for 2 years and my wife got me shirts from lvad gear HeartMate LVAD Shirt she got a long  sleeve and a short sleeve a little pricey but really comfortable