Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

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The cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, use a pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) to help children with severe heart failure.  Some of these children are waiting for a heart transplant.

Other children who aren’t candidates for a heart transplant can use a pediatric ventricular assist device as a treatment itself.

At Norton Children’s Heart Institute, our specialists use pediatric VADs to treat conditions that include:

The board-certified and fellowship-trained specialists at Norton Children’s Heart Institute will evaluate your child and decide if a VAD is the best method to treat your child’s heart failure.  If a pediatric ventricular assist device is necessary, either a short-term or long-term VAD will be used.

Short-term VADs include the aortic balloon pump, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), Impella heart pump and Rotaflow centrifugal pump.

Long-term VADs include the Berlin Heart Excor and the HeartWare HVAD system.

The benefit of having a VAD is that it restores sufficient oxygenation and blood flow to the body. Other organs, such as the kidneys, also work better. Children have more energy again and are able to eat again. This allows children to get out of bed and get stronger. This is especially important if your child is waiting for a heart transplant. We want your child to be strong and as healthy as possible when a donor heart is available.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute is the leading provider of pediatric heart care in Louisville and Southern Indiana. Our pediatric cardiothoracic surgeons, pediatric cardiologists, pediatric intensivists and pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists have extensive experience in placing VADs and caring for patients following their VADs.

Norton Children’s has a network of outreach diagnostic and treatment services conveniently located throughout 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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