Heart Failure Surgery / Artificial Heart

ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation)

Patients with acute or chronic heart failure are offered multiple surgical therapy options.

By implanting rhythm-correcting systems (pacemakers, CRT), an optimization or synchronization of the ventricle actions can lead to an improvement in the pumping action of the heart.

With exhausted drug and rhythm stabilization measures and progressive heart failure, surgically implanted support systems can stabilize and improve circulatory function. In acute cases, this is done by a mobile heart-lung machine (mobile HLM, ECMO). This may temporarily stabilize the patient with severe restriction of cardiac or pulmonary function and provides opportunities for surgical follow-up.


Cardiac Support Systems (VAD - ventricular assist device)

With expected long-term pump failure of the heart, implantation of a ventricular assist device (VAD) may serve as a treatment option. For this purpose, a pump is implanted, which pumps blood from the ventricle (usually the left) above the aortic valve into the main artery (aorta). The natural way of the blood flow from the ventricle is preserved. The heart can continue to perceive its limited pumping function. The missing part of the pumping power is provided by the implanted pump unit and supports the heart, depending on the remaining heart function, up to a complete transfer of the pumping power.

Several Strategies can be Pursued with the Implantation of a VAD:

Bridge To Recovery: Here, the VAD remains in the named position and can be decommissioned or explanted after a period of sufficient recovery of the pumping function.

Bridge To Transplantation: The VAD provides stabilization of the Keislauffunktion in the absence of recovery of the pump function, so that the patient can be registered for a heart transplant. With sufficient circulatory function for everyday life, the sometimes extensive waiting period for a suitable donor organ is bridged.

Destination Therapy: Patients for whom recovery is neither expected nor transplantation possible, they can be saved from circulatory failure by VAD therapy, sometimes for several years.

After rehabilitation and training, patients in this group are usually able to cope with their everyday lives in the home environment and are sometimes able to do light physical work. As part of regular outpatient procedure, patients are professionally monitored on a long-term basis.   


Last Modification: 14.03.2019 - Contact Person:

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