Understanding Advanced Heart Failure
Written by John Steuter, MD
A large spectrum of disease severity exists when it comes to patients with heart failure. Medical therapy, revascularization with stents or bypass, and defibrillator placement are some common tools utilized to treat a patient for heart failure.
What is advanced heart failure?
In advanced heart failure, the left side of your heart has become too weak to pump the normal amount of oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. As a result, you may be too exhausted to take part in your usual activities of daily life such as:
- Climbing stairs
- Even just lying down may be an overwhelming challenge
Treating Advanced Heart Failure
These patients may be candidates for left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) or heart transplants. LVADs have been around for decades with the first version of an LVAD utilized in 1966. However, like many things in medicine they have continued to improve the technology.
In the fall of 2017 the Heartmate 3 (HM3) gained FDA approval. Prior to this device the main LVAD utilized was the Heartmate II. In the trial that gained it FDA approval, the HM3 device was found to be superior to the HM II, primarily due the lack of reoperation for pump thrombus.
How Heartmate 3 Works
HM3 is a fully magnetically levitated left ventricular assist device for the treatment of advanced heart failure. The centrifugal rotor of the HM3 pump head in the system allows large flow gaps around it. Due to an artificial pulse algorithm, the pump changes its rotational speed periodically every two seconds with the aim of this feature to rinse the pump and reduce potential thrombotic complications.
Heartmate 3 Offered at Bryan Heart
At Bryan Heart we are proud to have the ability to offer this as a treatment option for our advanced heart failure patients. If you have questions about HM3, heart failure or would like to refer a patient, call 402-483-3333.