As part of its ongoing commitment to provide care for advanced heart failure patients in Georgia, Piedmont Heart Institute recently announced its first implantation of the HeartMate III™ Left Ventricular Assist System (LVAS). Piedmont is one of five centers across the country to begin implanting the HeartMate III™ Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) during the early safety phase of the clinical trial.
The HeartMate III™ LVAD is a small, implantable mechanical device that helps circulate blood throughout the body. Sometimes called a “heart pump” or “VAD” it is designed to supplement the pumping function of the heart for patients with hearts too weak to pump blood adequately on their own. The fully magnetically levitated technology foundation is designed to lower adverse event rates through improved hemocompatibility, while enhancing ease of surgical placement with its compact size. The HeartMate III™ U.S. clinical trial is a randomized non-inferiority study comparing HeartMate III™ with HeartMate II®™.
“The number of patients being diagnosed with advance heart failure in Georgia continues to rise,” said David Dean, M.D., surgical director of Piedmont Heart Institute. “Unfortunately, the number of donor hearts remains stagnant. LVAD therapy can be a lifeline to these patients, providing them the gift of time as either destination therapy or a bridge to heart transplant.”
Created in 2010, Piedmont Heart Institute’s LVAD program was the largest HeartMate II®™ new start program in the country, with Dr. Dean and his team implanting 33 of the devices in its first year alone. Since then, the program has achieved national attention for its success and over 170 patients have benefited from access to LVAD therapy.
More than five million people in the U.S. are afflicted with congestive heart failure (CHF). Of these, more than 250,000 are advanced cases, with an annual mortality rate of 80 percent.