Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) Rehabilitation

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital offers rehabilitation services for patients who are recovering from surgery in which a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) was implanted.

VADs are mechanical pumps that extend the lives of patients who await a heart transplant or are ineligible to receive a transplant. VADs use batteries or electricity to pump blood from the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) to the rest of the body. The lines connect to a battery pack and control panel typically worn on a vest or belt.

Post-Surgical Rehabilitative Care
Following implantation surgery, Good Shepherd provides rehabilitation services to help you recover and learn how to maintain your device.

As you recover, you will receive:

  • Medical supervision in a unit staffed by professionals experienced in cardiac care
  • Nursing care
  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Education regarding how to use the device

Growing Stronger Safely
Most likely you will feel weak following your surgery. For your safety, we closely monitor your blood pressure and cardiac and fluid status to prevent stroke or heart attack.

Therapy begins as soon as possible. A team comprised of physicians, nurses, and physical and occupational therapists:

  • Develops an exercise plan to allow you to become stronger at a safe pace
  • Teaches you about mobility issues related to the VAD
  • Instructs you regarding activity precautions
  • Understanding the Hardware

VADs are complex machines with battery packs and control panels worn outside of he body. It is important to understand how to properly care for them.

We teach you to:

  • Understand the various alarms and how to respond to them
  • Change the device’s battery
  • Connect to a power source
  • Care for the lines leading in and out of the body

Read a success story - Woman with LVAD Heart Pump Successfully Rehabs at Good Shepherd

For more information about Good Shepherd’s VAD Rehabilitation Program, call 1-888-44-REHAB or contact us.