What to Expect After Left Ventricular Assist System Surgery
UW Health Heart, Vascular and Thoracic surgeons in Madison, Wisconsin, implant left ventricular assist systems as a support for patients experiencing heart failure.
After Left Ventricular Assist System Surgery
After surgery to implant your left ventricular assist system, you will be monitored in the intensive care unit (ICU). For the first few days after surgery, a breathing tube will help your lungs function. This tube is usually removed within one to three days.
You will experience some pain where the incisions were made in your chest and abdomen. The medical staff will give you pain medication in addition to heart medication.
Recovering from Surgery
As you recover, you will work with nurses and physical therapists to regain your strength and mobility. While in the hospital, you will also learn how the left ventricular assist sytem (LVAS) works. It is connected to a system controller and powered by an external battery pack.
You wear the battery pack in a small holster so that it is easy for you to move around. You can also plug the LVAS into a power module unit.
Most patients are able to leave the hospital within two weeks of surgery. Depending on the nature of your job, you should be able to return to work within one to three months.