The HeartMate® II Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS) has been extensively studied as Bridge-to-Transplantation and Destination Therapy (that is, for patients ineligible for cardiac transplant) for advanced heart failure.
The Heartmate II system includes an implantable heart pump that is powered by a small electric motor and a small computer (called a System Controller) that makes sure the pump is working right. The System Controller uses lights and sounds to tell the patient how the system is working. Batteries, in a battery clip that is connected to the System Controller, are one type of routine power source used for powering the pump.
The Heartmate II pump helps the heart by taking over the function of the diseased left ventricle (the heart's main pumping chamber). It is implanted below the heart and has an electric motor that drives a small rotor (similar to a propeller), which pushes blood into the aorta (the large blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body).
Photo and illustration reprinted with permission from Thoratec Corporation.