The Latest on Treating Heart Disease

Living with a LVAD

November 28, 2018 - 10:21 am

For generations, heart disease has been America’s Number 1 killer. But a remarkable transition is taking place: according to new projections by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cancer will replace heart disease as the leading cause of death in the United States within two years. The data must be studied for more clues, but one can certainly credit at least some of the shift to advances in cardiac care that allow patients to live with significant heart problems that mere decades earlier would have cut their lives short.

In the area of heart failure, advances in medications, surgical techniques, and implantable devices are increasingly coordinated by multi-disciplinary teams like the one at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Burlington County. In heart failure, the heart muscle becomes too weak or stiff to pump blood efficiently through the body. Headed up by Attending Cardiologist Dr. Kulpreet Barn, specially trained cardiac clinicians guide patients and their families through a personalized treatment plan, including the most advanced therapies available.

Patients with heart failure for which other treatments have been unsuccessful may be put on a waitlist for a heart transplant, and/or might receive an LVAD. It can support heart function as they wait, or be a permanent solution to restore function and quality of life. This winter, Deborah will become the only hospital in the southern half of New Jersey to implant the Left Ventricular Assist Device, or LVAD.

KYW’s Rasa Kaye talks with Dr. Barn about the treating heart failure at Deborah and living with a life-preserving LVAD.