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About Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs)

VADs are typically used for:

  • Patients who require additional support while waiting for a transplant
  • Destination therapy, or permanent therapy, for end-stage heart failure patients
  • Temporary support after heart attack or during high-risk cardiac intervention

How it Works

VADs aid the pumping ability of hearts in patients with advanced-stage heart failure. A small device is implanted next to a patient’s heart and can pump up to 10 liters of blood per minute, covering the full output of a healthy heart. There are several types of VADs, with left ventricular-assist devices (LVADs) being the most used.


Devices used at the Mass General Hospital Corrigan Minehan Heart Center are designed for patient-specific needs. In addition to currently available devices, our team uses innovative and investigational devices. These cutting-edge devices are smaller, more durable, quieter and have been shown to improve survival and quality of life.