Innovative technology in heart transplant

Mayo Clinic doctors use innovative technology and therapies to treat people with heart failure.

Mayo Clinic doctors may implant ventricular assist devices (VAD) to treat some people with heart failure. A ventricular assist device is a mechanical device that pumps blood from one or both of the lower chambers of your heart (ventricles) to the rest of your body. Some people with heart failure may receive a total artificial heart (TAH), a device that pumps blood from both ventricles in your heart to the rest of your body.

A VAD or total artificial heart may improve your quality of life and help you to do many of your daily life activities. Both devices can be used as a treatment while you're waiting for a heart transplant or as an alternative treatment to a heart transplant. VADs can be used in adults and some older children, and TAHs only can be used in adults.

Researchers continue to study smaller models of VADs and total artificial hearts, including VADs and TAHs for children. Researchers also study how to reduce risks of VADs and total artificial hearts.