How you prepare

Before surgery to have a ventricular assist device (VAD) implanted, your doctor and treatment team will explain to you what to expect before, during and after the surgery and potential risks of the surgery.

Your doctor and team will discuss concerns you may have about your VAD surgery. Your doctor or another member of your treatment team may discuss with you advance directives or other information to consider prior to your surgery.

You'll need to have your hair shaved off at the location of your body where the procedure will take place.

Before being admitted to the hospital for your surgery, talk to your family about your hospital stay and discuss help you may need when you return home. Your doctor and treatment team may give you specific instructions to follow during your recovery when you return home.

Food and medications

Talk to your doctor about:

  • When you can take your regular medications and whether you can take them before your surgery
  • When you should stop eating or drinking the night before the surgery

Clothing and personal items

Your treatment team may recommend that you bring several items to the hospital including:

  • A list of your medications
  • Eyeglasses, hearing aids or dentures
  • Personal care items, such as a brush, comb, shaving equipment and toothbrush
  • Loose-fitting, comfortable clothing
  • A copy of your advance directive
  • Items that may help you relax, such as portable music players or books

During surgery, avoid wearing:

  • Jewelry
  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Dentures
  • Nail polish

Precautions regarding medications and allergies

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Any medications you have brought to the hospital and when you should take medications on the day of the procedure
  • Allergies or reactions you have had to medications