Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD)

The Willis-Knighton Heart & Vascular Institute’s Structural Heart Program includes care for patients with the the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD). The most common device we currently see is the St. Jude Medical HeartMate II™ (LVAD) in our shared care clinic. The HeartMate II™ is St. Jude Medical's first-line intermediate-to-chronic left ventricular assist device. Designed to dramatically improve survival and quality of life, the HeartMate II™ was developed to provide several years of circulatory support for a broad range of advanced heart failure patients. Its small size and quiet operation make the HeartMate II™ suitable for a wider range of patients, including women and those of smaller stature. With product attributes specifically developed to minimize the risk of complications, the HeartMate II™ is exceptionally durable and dependable.

LVADThe goal for this service is to provide the highest quality of care dedicated to evaluating and treating patients with end-stage heart failure. We have multiple cardiothoracic surgeons and cardiologists involved in the program. Our physicians are in close communication with partnering physicians throughout the patient’s care, from diagnosis of early heart failure through advanced treatment.

LVADPatients can qualify for a LVAD as a bridge to transplant (LVAD until heart transplant is available) or Destination Therapy.  Destination Therapy is when a VAD is used as a long-term treatment for patients who are not candidates for transplant, such as those with end-stage congestive heart failure. In these patients the pumps are placed permanently to help the heart work better. This is subject to change, pending the results of your evaluation and your Physician’s decision. Our program works closely with hospitals in Dallas and in New Orleans.  We can facilitate with the referral process to the LVAD implanting centers to evaluate patients for LVAD or heart transplant.

Download this brochure to learn more about the HeartMate II.

Diagnosis of Heart Failure

Advanced heart failure is a complex syndrome diagnosed by a thorough evaluation of signs and symptoms. Diagnosis may be confirmed by an initial evaluation that includes:

  • Comprehensive medical and thorough physical exam
  • Laboratory tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Echocardiography
  • Cardiac CT
  • Cardiac MRI
  • Heart Catheterization 

LVAD Center Referrals

The Structural Heart Program accepts both physician referrals and self-referrals.
Please contact us at:

VAD Coordinator
(318) 212-8320
or Refer a Patient Online

Referral Criteria