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Antria D. Family Member

Question for new LVAD patient

Hi! My fiance had his LVAD placed January 31st and he has been doing really well.  However, over the past week he has become more short of breath than usual.  He has reached out to the LVAD clinic and they say it's normal, as this is the last thing that will come around.  Well, a few days ago he noticed his stool was black with a little blood.  He again contacted the LVAD clinic and they want to have a GI tract test completed to learn where the blood is coming from.


1. Does the shortness of breath take a while to get over? What would you recommend to help?

2. Has anyone ever experienced a GI tract infection with the LVAD, if so, did you need to go the the LVAD clinic or see your regular primary doctor?

Thank you,

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Mariza M.


I had my LVAD placed on August 2015 and for about 1 1/2 I had many episodes of gut bleeding and, in all of them I had to stay in the hospital for a while. Normally I only had black stool and diaheia, as my lesion was in the jejuno/ileo portion. I did many exams to discover where the bleeding was licalized, such as cintilography with labelled red blood cells, entheroscopy of the whole intestine associated to a procedure to map and stop bleeding locally. During this period I used to take pills of iron supplement. When my physician decided to stop it in the beginning of 2017, I became ok and had only one additional episode in September 2017. It is due to the anti-coagulation treatment with Varfarin that we are submitted. Since then, I’ve been doing well. Hope your fiancee will get better over time.



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In reply to by Mariza M.

Jerome M.

  • I had internal bleeding shortly after my LVAD implant. The surgeon went in and fixed it. No problems since then the surgery. I 've been a patient since March 9, 2018.
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Stephanie G.

It will take time to recover. It took my husband 1 1/2 months of just walking around the house and resting when needed. Try to take short walks and if you need to stop and rest do so. Slow and steady wins the race. My husband’s lvad was implanted on 1/15/2019. He is doing great. 

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Kathleen D.

Antria, I am a VAD Coordinator. The shortness Of Breath takes the longest because your family member usually was chair or bed ridden prior to the LVAD and it takes a while for the endurance to come back. I agree with the above statements about keeping active it definitely helps. He could be short of breath if his blood counts are low due to the bleeding( dark stools), its not an infection they are worried about it is that bleeding because he is on warfarin. He may need to be hospitalized to get his colon looked at. Thanks, Kathleen
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Jerome M.

I went through this shortly after my LVAD implant. They went in and fixed the source of the blood. It's a little over a year without any more problems.

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Michael O.

I received my LVAD in Feb 2018 and am doing great. I have heard in clinic that shortness of breath can be caused by fluid in lungs. You need to have diuretics checked and possibly adjusted. I had to take a diuretic for about 3 months after the LVAD until my body got used to it. Now I have no fluid retention and go to the gym to regain my strength and endurance