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Baylor Fort Worth’s innovative Cardiac Replacement Evaluation Program offers patients with end-stage heart failure new hope at their convenience.
The first of its kind in Tarrant County, the program allows heart failure patients to undergo diagnostic testing at Baylor Fort Worth, and if appropriate, have the opportunity to receive care through Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas’ award-winning LVAD Program.
An LVAD, or left ventricular assist device, helps the heart pump blood throughout the body. The device, which is surgically implanted in the chest cavity and powered by a portable external battery, can be used as an ongoing, long-term therapy or as a bridge to heart transplantation.
In addition to treating patients with end-stage heart failure, LVADs can prevent death and repeat hospitalizations, and improve quality of life for patients who require frequent hospitalizations.
The evaluation process for implantation of an LVAD is similar to a transplant evaluation. Patients are screened for any conditions with a life expectancy of less than five years. Kidney, liver and lung functions also are assessed.
Patients must not use drugs or alcohol, must not smoke and have good social support. Because the LVAD can be complicated to manage, patients must have the capacity to handle a strict regimen.
Patients with an LVAD are intensely monitored, beginning with weekly and then monthly visits, and then every two to three months for the rest of their lives.
For more information on Baylor Fort Worth’s Cardiac Replacement Evaluation Program, call 1.800.4BAYLOR.
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