ventricular assist device
Definition: any of a variety of mechanical devices that support or replace the pumping function of the left (LVAD) or right ventricle (RVAD). The inflow end of the pump is connected to the ventricle and the outflow end to the aorta (LVAD) or pulmonary artery (RVAD). Most or all of the cardiac output is directed through the device to allow time for recovery of the patient's damaged heart muscle after myocardial infarction or heart surgery. Also used as “a bridge to transplantation,” to maintain the patient whose heart will not recover until a donor heart becomes available.