Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have revolutionized the treatment of patients with end-stage heart failure. These devices are replaced when pump complications arise if heart transplant is not possible. We present our experience with HeartMate II (HMII (Thoratec, Plesanton, California, United States)) LVAD pump exchange.Materials and Methods
We retrospectively reviewed all cases that required pump exchange due to LVAD complication from November 2011 until June 2016 at a single high-volume institution. The indications, demographics, and outcome were extracted and analyzed.Results
Of 250 total patients with implanted HMII LVADs, 16 (6%) required pump exchange during the study period. The initial indications for LVAD placement in these patients were bridge to transplantation (n = 6 [37.5%]) or destination therapy (n = 10 [62.5%]). Fifteen patients (93.8%) required pump exchange due to pump thrombosis and 1 (6.2%) due to refractory driveline infection. Nine patients (56.2%) underwent repeat median sternotomy while a left subcostal approach was used in the remaining seven patients. Fifteen patients (93.7%) survived until hospital discharge. During the follow-up period (median, 155 days), 11 patients remained alive and 4 of these underwent successful cardiac transplantation.Conclusion
HMII LVAD pump exchange can be safely performed for driveline infection or pump thrombosis when heart transplantation is not an option.