Patients with advanced heart or pulmonary failure may need mechanical assistance to keep their heart pumping enough blood. Mechanical circulatory support (MCS) devices step in—either temporarily or permanently—to either supplement or replace the action of the failing heart or lungs.
Mechanical Circulatory Support
Mechanical circulatory support options available at Temple include the following.
- A ventricular assist device (VAD) is an implanted pump that supports the pumping action of the heart’s ventricles and may allow patients to resume a level of normal activity.
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is an in-hospital mode of life support for patients with acute respiratory or cardiac failure, such as cardiac arrest. It replaces the actions of both the heart and the lungs, supplying oxygenated blood to the body.
- Total artificial heart is an option for patients with severely damaged hearts that can truly no longer function. It is implanted in place of the damaged heart and replaces it completely.
Temple offers the most advanced options available for people with advanced heart failure, whether needing a bridge to transplant or to extend life—and increase quality of life—when transplantation is not an option. At Temple, our cardiovascular surgeons have extensive experience with VADs. We were the first institution in Philadelphia to implant an LVAD as destination therapy in 2003. Because Temple cardiovascular surgeons also perform heart transplants, they are highly qualified to evaluate the full range of surgical and device options for every patient.