Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Surgery

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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, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the experience, skills and training to know when a pediatric VAD can help and whether it can be a long-term treatment 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 is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute has a network of remote diagnostic and treatment services in Kentucky and Southern Indiana.

Why Choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute

  • 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.
  • The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified our cardiothoracic surgeons in congenital heart surgery.
  • The Adult Congenital Heart Association has accredited Norton Children’s Heart Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program as the only comprehensive care center in Kentucky and Indiana treating adults born with a heart defect.
  • More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute for advanced heart care.
  • Norton Children’s Heart Institute has offices across Kentucky and Southern Indiana to bring quality pediatric heart care closer to home.
  • The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) at Norton Children’s Hospital is the largest dedicated CICU in Kentucky, equipped with 17 private rooms and the newest technology available for heart care.
The Adult Congenital Heart Association has recognized Norton Children's Heart Institute for its expertise treating adult congenital heart disease.

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