After your surgery, you’ll be taken to the cardiovascular intensive care unit. Later, you’ll be transferred to a regular hospital room while we continue to monitor your heart rate, rhythm and VAD readings. While you stay in the hospital, you’ll get physical, occupational and cardiac-rehab therapy, and the clinical engineers will educate you and your family on VAD care, operation and troubleshooting. You’ll also learn how to care for the driveline site and incision, including how to shower with the device. If you need any supplies or equipment at home, we can arrange for that. You may have to take anticoagulation medications, such as Coumadin (warfarin) or aspirin, to prevent blood clots.
The risks of a VAD implantation are similar to those of any major heart surgery. There are also other risks and complications specific to the VAD, such as infection, a malfunction of the pump, stroke, bleeding, blood clots and kidney, lung, liver or heart damage.