Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

Restoring Hope With LVAD Therapy

A left ventricular assist device, or LVAD, is a mechanical device that circulates blood throughout the body when the heart is too weak to pump blood on its own. An LVAD is not an artificial heart, nor is it a heart replacement. An LVAD attaches to the heart and assists—or takes over—the pumping function of your left ventricle, which is the main pumping chamber of the heart.

Studies have shown that advanced heart failure patients treated with an LVAD can live longer and enjoy a much improved quality of life compared with those being treated with drug therapy alone.1

How an LVAD works

A surgeon places an LVAD inside your body, just below your diaphragm in your abdomen, and attaches it to your left ventricle and aorta (the main artery that carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the entire body). An external, wearable system that includes a small controller and two batteries is attached by an external driveline. The wearable system is either worn under or on top of clothing.

The St. Jude Medical commitment to safe, reliable and effective LVADs

Since the first implantable pacemaker was developed in 1958, millions have benefited from innovations from St. Jude Medical. The remarkable story of the first cardiac pacemaker is embedded in St. Jude Medical’s history, and today, St. Jude Medical has once again demonstrated its commitment to revolutionizing cardiac disease treatment with the HeartMate II™ Left Ventricular Assist System, featured below.

NameHeartMate II™ Left Ventricular Assist System

Learn more about the HeartMate II™ left ventricular assist device.


1. Slaughter, M. S., Rogers, J. G., Milano, C. A., Russell, S. D., Conte, J. V., Feldman, D., … Frazier, O. H. (2009). Advanced Heart Failure Treated with Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device. The New England Journal of Medicine, 3(361), 2241-2251. http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa0909938