Jefferson University Hospitals

Types of VADs

Our Mechanical Circulatory Support Team treats patients with end-stage heart failure. We offer several options, and we will help you decide if one of the devices is right for you.

HeartMate II


The Thoratec® HeartMate II is the only LVAD (left ventricular assist device) that is FDA approved for both the bridge to transplantation and destination therapy indications. Our skilled surgeons have been using this device since 2007 and have implanted the HeartMate II into many patients.

The device consists of a pump placed into the chest and connects to the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta. It has a wire (driveline) that comes out through the skin of the abdomen below the ribcage. The driveline connects to a small computer that controls the device. Two batteries that last between 10 to 12 hours between charges power this device. The pump is silent and produces continuous blood flow. In most cases, patients with this pump will not have a palpable pulse.

The HeartMate II can be used to provide long-term cardiac support for patients with advanced-stage heart failure who are not eligible for transplantation. Patients need to meet basic criteria to undergo insertion of the HeartMate II, and your physician can evaluate you to see if it may be appropriate for you.

Jarvik 2000 Heart Assist System


The Jarvik 2000® LVAD consists of a pump that sits in the left ventricle of the heart and delivers blood to the aorta. Today, our experts are implanting the newest version of the Jarvik 2000 as part of the destination therapy trial. The newest version has a driveline that connects to a small pedestal mounted behind the ear. The potential benefit of this is that there are no dressing changes required at the driveline site, and early results show a very low infection rate.

This is the only LVAD available where swimming on device support is possible. This device is only available as part of a trial. Patients who qualify for the trial will be randomly assigned to either a Jarvik 2000 LVAD or a HeartMate II LVAD.

HeartMate 3


The Thoratec® HeartMate 3 is currently in trial in a limited number of hospitals in the U.S. for both the bridge to transplantation and destination therapy indications. This pump uses full magnetic levitation of the rotor (spinning part of the pump) that allows more space between the rotor and the housing of the pump. This may be gentler on the blood cells and may offer advantages to the patient.

We are proud to have been selected as one of the study sites for the HeartMate 3 trial, called the MOMENTUM 3 Trial. Our physicians were the first in Pennsylvania and in the Delaware Valley to implant a HeartMate 3 into a patient suffering from severe heart failure.

Patients interested in being considered for the MOMENTUM 3 Trial will need to meet specific criteria to enter the study, and once enrolled you will be selected randomly to receive either the HeartMate 3 or HeartMate II LVAD. Your physician can give you more information on the trial and can evaluate you to see if you qualify.

Syncardia Total Artificial Heart


The Syncardia total artificial heart is essentially a revision of the Jarvik-7 total artificial heart that was first used more than 30 years ago. Approved for bridge to transplantation, it's mainly used when both sides of the heart have failed to the point that an LVAD is not appropriate.

The Freedom Driver, a portable power supply device, is approved so most patients supported on the Syncardia total artificial heart may be discharged home to wait for a transplant.