There are several types of devices used to assist the function of the left ventricle. These include:
1.Intra-aortic ballons that can be implanted permanently inside the lumen of the aorta, and function just as a catheter based intra-aortic balloon pump.
2. Bi-ventricular assist devices that can be used to assist both the right and left ventricles simultaneously when the pump failure is global .
3. Left ventricular assist devices / systems (LVAD's) which provide ventricular assistance by taking over the function of the left ventricle. These can be anastomosed between the left ventricle and the aorta (HeartMate® LVAS) (Thoratec Corporation, Pleasanton, California). The Thoratec ® VAD (Thoratec Corporation) is anastomosed between the left atrium and the aorta, or used as a;
4.Right Ventricular Assist device which is anastomosed between the right atrium and the pulmonary artery.
5. Extra coroporeal pumps with percutaneous intravascular access to the circulation such as the Tandem Heart.
3D models of the HeartMate® LVAS can be seen in the Left Ventricular Assist Device page.