Ventricular assist devices are implantable mechanical pumps which control and regulate the blood flow from ventricles of heart to the rest of body. These devices replicate the functioning of ventricles. They are implanted at the lower end of heart and helps in flow of blood from ventricle to the complete body. These flow pumps could be either pulsatile or continuous. Continuous flow pump circulates blood throughout the body continuously while the pulsatile pump mimics the natural heart pulse. The pulsatile pumps help to retain the normal functioning of the ventricle through periodic blood flow in the system. These devices are implanted in the patient’s body when ventricles fail to perform their function due to various medical conditions such as Bundle branch block, Myocardial Infaction (MI). They can be either implanted for life long or small period to treat and correct the heart rate. In addition, they are also used as temporary and supportive implants until the actual heart transplant is performed
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On the basis of the application areas these devices are segmented as Right Ventricular Assist Devices (RVAD), Left Ventricular Assist Devices (LVAD) and Bipolar Ventricular Assist Devices (BVAD). LVAD is implanted at the left ventricle however RVAD is implanted at right ventricle. BVAD is implanted when both the right and left ventricles does not work properly. The device is implanted at the respective ventricles. LVAD is most common amongst other VAD since majority of people suffer from left ventricle disorders. RVAD is usually implanted in the patient’s heart to support right ventricle after LVAD surgery and other heart surgery.
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VAD usage around the globe has increased since they are implanted in the heart for its proper functioning during and after various surgeries such as kidney transplant and liver transplant. According to the WHO around 17 million people died due to cardiovascular diseases (CVD). It has been estimated that the number of people suffering from CVD were double the number of people died. This number is further expected to rise owing to rise in the geriatric population. In addition, rise in number of kidney and liver transplant would also trigger the growth of this market. Reimbursement policies of various nations for VAD would also support the growth of this market. Despite all these advantages, few risk associated with its implantation such as development of blood clots, respiratory failure and device failure would hinder the growth of this market. Other risks associated with VAD include, bleeding, kidney failure, stroke and infection.
Some of the major players for ventricular assist devices market include Terumo Inc, Berlin Heart GmbH, Thoratec, Inc., HeartWare International and World Heart Corporation.