Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

The cardiothoracic pediatric surgeons at Norton Children’s Heart Institute use ventricular assist devices (VADs) to help children with severe heart failure.  Some of these children  are waiting for a donor heart.

Other children who aren’t candidates for a heart transplant can use a VAD as a treatment in its own right.

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

  • Chemotherapy-induced heart dysfunction
  • Chronic and acute heart transplant rejection
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy cardiac dysfunction
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  • Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy
  • Myocarditis
  • Restrictive cardiomyopathy

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 VAD 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 like the kidneys 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 the donor heart is available.

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

The Society of Thoracic Surgeons has ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute’s pediatric heart care among the best in the region. 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

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.
Heart – 2929

Norton Children’s Heart Institute

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(502) 629-2929

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