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Tony f. Family Member

Need a little advice about my dad

My dad had an Lvad implanted exactly 6 weeks ago today, However the doctors are saying his right side simply is not doing its job, and being that he has been in the hospital so long he is not strong enough to be considered for an Rvad surgery making it a Bivad.

Due to his age AND undiagnosed spot on his lung he can not be considered for a transplant.

So we as the family were thinking allow him to go to rehab and get stronger since hes been in bed for a total now of 9 weeks, then see if he can have the Rvad implanted.

 

Anyone have any experience with something like this and can shed any light? I feel like the doctors are in a way giving up

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Christina A.

Hello,

This is my first post. My dad is 74 and suffering from advanced heart failure. 
He had a heart attack which closed off the main artery into his heart. 
The doctors at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit are proposing a LVAD for my father, which my dad feels is the correct choice for him as well. My question is, what is this surgery’s success rate for someone of my father’s age? And how about the length of recovery? The doctors are saying recovery takes about 90 days. I just want to make sure he does get to a point where his quality of life is back to a nice active level, and this doesn’t turn into a complete nightmare struggle where he never gets better and there is just new complications one after another. 
I guess I’m just looking for some reassurance regarding someone of my dad’s age and this surgery. 
Thank you. 
 

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Reiss T.

Question, will the doc's approve him for rehab?

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Larry N.

First, a word of encouragement. I’m now 2 years and 4 months past getting my HM3 and doing fine. I was in the hospital a bit over a month, then rehospitalized twice shortly after discharge because the right side was having trouble keeping up. My team said it’s like the left side is now functioning as it should and the right side is saying, “What the heck is going on over there?” It took several months to get things stabilized. Rehab was a big part of that. So because his doctors are recommending it, I encourage him to do it. In addition to the excellent care I got, it was the single most effective thing I did. Rehab starts where you are able. It was a comfort to know they were closely monitoring me, and to see the other folks and the progress they had made and were making. It was also encouraging for my family, and helped establish new habits and a new lifestyle. No guarantees - if we weren’t pretty sick we wouldn’t need these things, and everyone’s journey is unique. But they tell me that problems with the right heart are fairly common after getting an LVAD. Rehab can help it adapt and strengthen, and be a gateway to enjoying these “bonus years.” 

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James J.

I think Larry N has given good advice. I was close to 75 when I got my HeartMate3 and definitely have a better quality of life. My EF was around 15 and thankfully a great cardiologist suggested the LVAD and gave me a short window to get it done. Yes, there’s difficult recovery which takes time and adjustments, such as my pacemaker/ICD going off, right ventricle issues, med changes, rehab and the new way of life.
Now, I feel good, golf, travel and am grateful for the development of the LVAD.
 

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Diane B.

My husband had LVAD end of August. He was having last test to be considered for transplant. Unfortunately the test showed that his R heart was having severe hypertension. He was denied for transplant and it was touch and go about LVAD. After OR he came out with about 20 different IV meds and a very weak R ventricle. At one point they discussed RVAD but this was an external pump that could only be used temporarily. I was told that there was no VAD that could be used permanently. My husband did come home for a few weeks with an iontotrope to help R ventricle. Since then he has improved a great deal and IV was stopped in early Jan and so far so good. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Good luck !

 

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Tony f.

Reading all of these with tears in my eyes!!! Such an amazing journey all of you have shared and it gives me HOPE for me dad, (and sometimes when its lets call it a "bad day") its hard to find that hope, I feel in some cases too many doctors can be a good thing, and also a bad thing, they all say something different sometimes 

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In reply to by Tony f.

Diane B.

Hi Tony

I found this to be especially true because doctors were rotating every week because of Covid and they did not always agree on the path to follow. When you are talking about Rehab do you mean Physical Rehab with PT and OT or Cardiac Rehab? Hopefully your Dad has been getting Pt and OT in the hospital to kickstart things and to make sure you are all set up at home if they are talking about outpatient Rehab. It seems very overwhelming for everyone in the beginning but you and your Dad need to remember he has been given a second chance at life and take one day at a time. Worrying about what could go wrong will only drag you down. Thing about the positives like now he can move around without being so breathless all of the time. Be well and know there are many people rooting for you!

 

 

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Tony f.

They are sending him home, not rehab but home.

He is very weak after being in bed for a now total of 11 weeks (3 pre op and 9  post op) of course he will be coming home with home care and of course we will be here 100%

Right side of his heart is struggling badly, making his kidney function go up and down, he is on dopamine to help the right side squeeze and that does seem to make the kidney function a bit more stable.

The mere mention of an Rvad is instantly dismissed, so maybe when hes home ill contact Saint Lukes who seems to do the MOST Rvads out there.

 

anyone here ever seriously looked into them? I see alot of mixed results, some say its for the OR ONLY, I actually know of one person who who HAS it somewhat locally (I have yet to speak to him tho)

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Diane B.

Hi Tony

Hope all went well with your Dad's discharge. I am way behind on my emails and just saw your comment about rehab. Hopefully they arranged Homecare with PT and OT to help build your father's strength up. The first month was a little hectic but the minute my husband got back into his own bed after 90 days in hospital he started to feel better. I hope and pray it goes as well for your Dad as it did for us.

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Tony f.

They don't seem to want to help cure him anymore its about "Comfort" in the hospital he had a team of doctors and the team all has very different opinions, sadly the one in charge of his case was on the negative side of things.. feel like im batting my head against the wall

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In reply to by Tony f.

Diane B.

Hi Tony

So sorry to hear that. How old is your Dad? Is your Dad living in same city as VAD team? Are you going back to see team soon? If you have a designated VAD Coordinator you could try talking to them 1st to get clarification or at the very least they can prepare the doctor to spend some time answering the questions you want. If you are not getting your answers then maybe time to talk to family doc to help mediate. I wish  I could help more. Take care.  Diane