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What is heart pump surgery?

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Quick Answer

Heart pump surgery is the implanting of a ventricular assist device in a patient who could not otherwise live while waiting for a heart transplant, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. As of 2015, heart surgeons at the center are using minimally invasive surgery to implant heart pumps.

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Full Answer

The VAD, or heart pump, assists a patient's heart mechanically, keeping the heart from failing until a healthy live organ is available for transplantation. Implanting a heart pump using the minimally invasive surgical technique is harder to perform than traditional open-heart surgery. However, it reduces the possibility of infection, speeds patient recovery time, and lessens the risk of surgical scarring around the patient's heart, which makes it easier to remove the heart during the transplantation surgery, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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