Heart Hospital of Austin launches new program for advanced heart failure patients

A mechanical circulatory support program that provides device therapies to treat patients who suffer from advanced heart failure has been launched by the Heart Hospital of Austin.

The Advanced Heart Failure Program features two therapies, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and left ventricular assist device (LVAD). 

ECMO is a temporary therapy designed to assist the function of the heart, the lungs, or both. The LVAD is a durable, long-term support device that mechanically pumps blood from the heart to the rest of the body. 

Chief Executive Officer of the Heart Hospital of Austin David Laird said in a news release that they "are committed to providing leading edge treatment options" and that the program helps broaden "therapy options available to those living with advanced heart failure."


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Statistics show that more than half a million Americans are currently living with advanced heart failure. Many of those people need, and are not eligible for, a heart transplant due to underlying medical conditions or the risk of complications.

The LVAD can provide short-term support for those who are anticipating a heart transplant and the technology can also provide an extended and improved quality of life to patients who are not able to receive a transplant. 

“This particular LVAD can serve as a bridge to transplant—or as a long-term therapy for patients with advanced heart failure,” Jerome Thomas, M.D., medical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program, said. “Patients can live an active, full life with an LVAD.”


The HeartMate 3 device is a technological advancement in LVAD technology that has improved blood flow to help minimize complications, such as blood clots, to ultimately improve a patient's quality of life. The device features full magnetic levitation technology to optimize blood flow and maintain blood integrity. Its external control device is approximately the size of a cell phone.

“Our goal is to get patients back to their everyday lives,” Jonathan Yang, M.D., surgical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program and cardiothoracic surgeon with Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgeons, said. “The therapies provided through the Advanced Heart Failure Program allow us to provide the best possible outcomes.”

The Heart Hospital of Austin is part of St. David's Healthcare. For more information about the hospital and the Advanced Heart Failure Program and you go here.