Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Surgery

A surgically implanted pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) can support the heart and improve blood flow. Pediatric VAD surgery can help your child while waiting for a heart transplant or as a long-term alternative to a transplant.

The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute have the experience, skill and training to know when a pediatric VAD can help and whether it can be a long-term treatment in itself.

If VAD surgery is right for your child, a specially trained pediatric cardiothoracic surgical team with extensive VAD experience will implant the device. The team will perform open heart surgery to attach the outflow and inflow tubing of the device to the heart and the aorta. Specialists will then attach the tubing to a pump outside the body that will act as a heart, mechanically pushing blood out to the arteries and pulling blood into the pump from the veins.

The VAD surgery team will teach you, your child and other caregivers about the device. Our team will closely watch children who qualify to be discharged from the hospital and educate community health care providers in caring for a VAD.

A pediatric VAD implant procedure requires experience, skill and training in the latest techniques and technologies.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. With our network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana, your child can stay close to home for quality care.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.

  • Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
  • Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
  • The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced cardiac intensive care unit available.
  • Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
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Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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