When one of the heart's natural pumps isn’t working well, a ventricular assist device can be used to increase the amount of blood that flows through the body. A ventricular assist device is an implantable mechanical pump that helps pump blood from the lower chambers of your heart (the ventricles) to the rest of your body. It is used in people who have weakened hearts or heart failure.
Although a ventricular assist device can be placed in the left, right or both ventricles of your heart, it is most frequently used in the left ventricle. When placed in the left ventricle, it is called a left ventricular assist device. Having a ventricular assist device implanted can improve quality of life for people with weakened hearts, heart failure or for those who are awaiting a heart transplant.