Alternative therapy could help those not qualified for heart transplants

Recent federal approval for an alternative therapy can lead to a new lease on life for patients who don’t qualify for a heart transplant.

The Food and Drug Administration signed off on use of a left-ventricular assist device (LVAD) that aids a failing heart for those with congestive heart failure.

“Prior to approval of LVADs for destination therapy, the prognosis for patients with advanced heart failure was poor. Less than one-half of patients diagnosed would live for one year,” says Dr. Mark Drazner, a nationally recognized heart failure expert who is the medical director of the Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplantation Program at
UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Even with the help of medicine, heart failure often leads to progressive deterioration of health.

With the new approval, however, qualifying patients can choose to have a fully implantable heart pump that takes over most of the weakened heart’s work, enabling people to live longer, healthier lives.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/heartlungvascular to learn more about
UT Southwestern’s clinical heart, lung and vascular services.

April is National Donate Life Month.

Media Contact: Katherine Morales

Return to April 2010 News Tips

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