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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2000 Aug;19(8 Suppl):S95-100.

Implantable LVAD insertion in patients with previous heart surgery.

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Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Kaufman Center for Heart Failure, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.


Implantable LVAD insertion and support poses technical obstacles in patients with previous heart operations. In this study of 135 LVAD patients (64 pneumatic HeartMate; 39 vented-electric HeartMate; 32 Novacor devices), 72 (53%) had previous heart surgery. For patients with previous coronary artery bypass, the grafts were managed by replacement or preservation. For patients with ventricular aneursym (or aneursmysectomy), or partical left ventriculectomy, apical cannulation had to be modified to maintain precise unobstructed orientation of the inflow cannula towards the mitral valve. Mechanical mitral and aortic prostheses were rereplaced with tissue valves. Implantable cardioverter defibrillators were removed, or the LVAD pump was placed intraperitoneal and the generator was left in the abdominal wall pocket. There were no significant differences in reoperations for bleeding (22% primary vs 23% reoperations), perioperative RVAD support (12% primary vs 7% reoperation) or survival to transplant (82% primary vs 72% reoperations). In conclusion adjustment of standard LVAD implant technique can successfully manage most problems posed by patients with previous heart surgery.

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