Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)


Heart failure is complex and often requires a combination of treatments, including surgery, medication, lifestyle changes and implanted devices. Surgical intervention for heart failure includes the implantation of a ventricular assist device (VAD) – which is a kind of artificial heart pump used to treat people with severe heart failure.

Normally, the left ventricle, one of your heart’s four chambers, pumps blood into your aorta (the large artery leaving the heart) and around your body. In the event that someone has severe heart failure, the heart is too weak to pump enough blood around the body. The VAD device helps the failing heart and aims to restore normal blood flow. The VAD is implanted and acts as a blood pump that pumps blood from the main chamber of the heart around the body.

A VAD is needed when/if:

  • Your heart is diseased and you are waiting for a heart transplant
  • You have temporary heart failure and you have been recommended to have a VAD until your heart recovers, or when you are recovering from heart surgery
  • A heart transplant is not an option and a VAD is needed as long term treatment for heart failure

Services offered by RB&HH Specialist Care

  • VAD pre-screening service
  • VAD implantation and follow up including cardiac rehabilitation
  • 24-hour on call service for patients who have VAD devices

Testing and diagnostics

An extensive pre-screening is performed before the VAD implantation is recommended. This will include blood tests, echocardiogram, chest x-rays, angiogram (cardiac catheterisation), ECG, renal function, lung function as well as psychological testing.

Novel diagnostics and treatment approaches: what makes us different?

Harefield Hospital is one of the leaders in VAD technology; performing the procedure for over 20 years, it is amongst one of the highest success rates in the UK. What sets Harefield Hospital apart from other hospitals is that they provide the VAD implant in a minimally invasive way, using two small incisions (sternum-sparing), rather than a traditional open heart method, which allows for lower rates of infections and faster recovery times. As RB&HH is a specialist heart and lung centre we have experience treating extremely complex cases and this means we have an enormous amount of experience on the ground.

Consultants linked to treatment:

Mr Andre Simon

Location where service is offered:

Harefield Hospital

Book an appointment

For more information

As the UK leader in VAD implantation, our Harefield Hospital team explains the procedure, the benefits and why we are a top centre for the assessment, procedure and follow-up care. You may watch the video here.


British Heart Foundation: