The HeartWare® HVAD is FDA-approved as a Bridge-to-Transplantation and is being studied as Destination Therapy (that is, for patients ineligible for cardiac transplant) for advanced heart failure.
The HeartWare® system includes an implantable heart pump that is powered by a small electric motor and a small computer (called a controller) that manages the operation of the device. The controller is powered by two batteries or one battery and electricity from an outlet as it regulates pump function and monitors the system. It is implanted below the heart and uses a centrifugal blood pump with a rotating device called an impeller.
The device helps the heart by taking over the function of the diseased left ventricle (the heart's main pumping chamber) and pushing 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 HeartWare International, Inc.