What can you expect after getting a ventricular assist device (VAD)?
Your doctor will give you detailed instructions about how to care for your device. These will include how to care for the exit site, where the cable comes out of your belly.
A team of specialists will help you with your device and your treatment plan. You’ll have regular follow-up visits to check your health and make sure your device is working well.
Most people with a VAD feel better and have a better quality of life. They can be active, be social, and enjoy hobbies.
Having a VAD may cause problems like infection and blood clotting. However, the device can be lifesaving. Your treatment team will help you know what you can do to help prevent problems.
Your doctor may prescribe several medicines for you. You may be taking some of them already. These medicines will treat your heart and help you avoid problems with the device.
Some people decide to turn off the VAD near the end of life. Making this decision can be easier after you, your doctor, and your loved ones have talked about what you can expect from your life now and in the future. When you schedule your next doctor visit, ask if you can have time to talk about your end-of-life wishes.
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