Deborah Heart and Lung Center has received designation as a certified Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) facility. The certification includes both “bridge-to-transplant” and “destination therapy” VAD implants.
Deborah has long been an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) Shared Services site, allowing patients who have received an LVAD at another facility to receive their ongoing post-surgery care at Deborah. The hospital’s Advanced Heart Failure Team has been preparing for its credentialing in order to begin implanting LVADs at its Browns Mills campus.
“Deborah has been in the forefront of advanced heart failure care for a long time,” said Kulpreet Barn, MD, Medical Director at Deborah’s Advanced Heart Failure Center. “Our experience as a regional shared-care program has made us an ideal candidate for performing LVAD surgery here at the hospital.”
LVAD is a mechanical pump that is surgically implanted in patients to slow the progress of severe congestive heart failure. An LVAD assists a faulty left ventricle in pumping blood. Post-surgery, patients are trained in the management of a companion control device which regulates and monitors the LVAD. Patients who receive an LVAD are either bridge-to-transplant as they wait for a new heart on the heart transplant list, or destination therapy, in which the LVAD serves as a long-term heart failure solution.
Deborah’s Heart Failure Team includes surgeons, cardiologists, rehab experts, specialty nurses, social workers, and dieticians and nutritionists to support patients who receive an LVAD.
Dr. Barn added: “This is a complicated surgery, and requires a lot of aftercare and follow-up. Now with our program being fully credentialed we are excited to bring this sophisticated, life-saving treatment to the residents of South Jersey.”
With the required certification received from DNV GL Healthcare, US, Inc. (a credentialing arm of Medicare), Deborah is now the only hospital LVAD procedure site in South Jersey, and one of only 6 implant sites statewide.