Ventricular Assist Device Program | Types of VADs

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There are several different types of VADs.  Boston Children’s is a leader in VAD innovation, and we have been granted permission to use certain devices pre-FDA approval in specific circumstances. The VAD team will decide which device is most appropriate for each patient’s unique situation.

Your child’s size, age and disease state are all taken into account when deciding what device is right. Some are intended for short-term use and some for long-term use. 

Name  Age/Size requirement  Hospital or Home Internal or External  Purpose/Situation Short-term/Long-term
HeartWare HVAD  Generally > 12 kg  Home  Internal  BTT, DT  Long-term 
 HeartWave HVAD Brief Overview
The Heartware pump is implanted inside the body and provides long-term cardiac support to people waiting
for heart transplants and people who are not eligible for a heart transplant.
SynCardia Total
Artificial Heart
Based on 3-D imaging  Hospital and
Internal BTT Short-term
SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Brief Overview
 The Total Artificial Heart is a pump inside the chest that replaces the whole heart for an older child
while he or she awaits transplant. Patients can go home on this device by transitioning to a smaller driver,
called the Freedom Driver, which allows the device to be portable.
Berlin Heart
All ages and sizes  Hospital  External  BTT  Short-term
Berlin Heart EXCOR Brief Overview
The Berlin Heart stays outside the chest and is attached to the heart with cannulas.
It provides heart support while the person waits for a heart transplant.  
Maquet ROTAFLOW  All ages and sizes  Hospital  External  BTT  Short-term 
Maquet ROTAFLOW Brief Overview
The Maquet ROTAFLOW is a heart pump outside of the body with a motor that spins the blood and increases
blood flow to temporarily improve the symptoms of heart failure.
The speed is controlled by a member of the Heart Center. 
ABIOMED BVS 5000  >35 kg  Hospital  External  BTT  Short-term 
ABIOMED BVS 5000 Brief Overview
The ABIOMED BVS 5000 stays outside the chest and is attached to the heart with cannulas.
It provides heart support while the person waits for a heart transplant.
It is usually used in patients too big for the Berlin Heart Excor. 
Impella 2.5  All ages and sizes    Internal  BTT Short-term
Impella 2.5 Brief Overview
The Impella 2.5 is a small pump designed for short-term use in children with heart failure.
The pump is about the size of a triple A battery and is placed through the femoral artery by using a catheter.
This is done in the cardiac catheterization lab or the operating room. The pump helps the heart by pulling blood from
the left ventricle to the aorta. The Impella can allow the heart to temporarily rest and recover. 

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, is also used to provide emergent, short-term heart and lung support. If it is determined your child needs ECMO support, the VAD team will work with the ECMO team within the Division of Critical Care Medicine.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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