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When one of the heart's natural pumps isn’t working well, a ventricular assist device can be used to increase the amount of blood that flows through the body. A ventricular assist device is an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of your heart (the ventricles) to the rest of your body. It is used in people who have weakened hearts or heart failure.
Although a ventricular assist device can be placed in the left, right or both ventricles of your heart, it is most frequently used in the left ventricle. When placed in the left ventricle, it is called a left ventricular assist device. Having a ventricular assist device implanted can improve quality of life for people with weakened hearts, heart failure or for those who are awaiting a heart transplant.
On the next Mayo Clinic Radio program, Dr. John Stulak, a Mayo Clinic cardiovascular surgeon, will cover ventricular assist devices and heart transplant. Also on the program, Dr. Sebastian Fernandez-Bussy and Dr. Eric Edell, Mayo Clinic pulmonologists, will explain endoscopic lung volume reduction, which is a minimally invasive treatment for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. And Dr. Kristina Butler, a Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncologist, will discuss diagnosing and treatment options for ovarian cancer.
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Mayo Clinic Radio produces a weekly one-hour radio program highlighting health and medical information from Mayo Clinic.