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Robert B. Prospective Patient

LVAD education/testing day and prognosis.

Today was my education day with my LVAD coordinator, Social worker, pharmist and finance. Of course at this point I am overwhelmed with all the information and such that I got today. My LVAD surgeon will meet with his team next Tuesday to discuss my case, but according to him there is no other choice if I want to live much longer. My heart failure has gotten really bad and the LVAD is my only choice. Transplant is out of the question, so this would be a Destination Therepy surgery. Any words of wisdom, comments, suggestions on how to prepare for what is about to happen, would be greatly appreciated!

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Cathy M.

Dear Robert,

yes it is a lot to deal with! I had mine in August of this year. Although I am on the list for a transplant if I had to live with the LVAD ongoing I certainly could. After living with a 16 percent heart function the miracle of this pump has truly change my life. I did not realize how sick I was for such a long time, I was just used to feeling tired and just not well. My  surgeon  installed the LVAD  through my ribs which greatly helped with recovery time. You need to ask if they can do this where your transplant is being done. After the surgery and they clear you to go home make sure you have appropriate care at home to help with bathing, eating, house cleaning etc. I went home on over 40 pills a day but is now down to 10 a day. I had in home blood draws as upfront there is a lot of blood level monitoring to get the med levels correct. 

It does get easier as time goes on, my big lifesaver was discovering the mesh vest from MY LVAD equipment for LVAD gear, brilliant! It gave me the ability to easily move around with the batteries and drive and wear normal-looking clothing. Also, it really saved my back. 

5 months from now you should be feeling great, cardio rehab has also been a great help in my recovery well.
I wish you the best!

Cathy