Washington, D.C., November 30, 2021 – MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute physicians at MedStar Washington Hospital Center have completed their 300th implant of the HeartMate 3 Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), which treats patients with advanced heart failure. MedStar Washington is among the first four LVAD programs nationwide to reach this historic milestone.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center participated in the MOMENTUM 3 clinical trial and its post-pivotal study Continuous Access Protocol (CAP), testing the efficacy of the HeartMate 3 LVAD for safety and sustainability as short- and long-term support for patients with advanced (stage D) heart failure. The FDA approved the HeartMate 3 device as a bridge-to-transplant, or as destination therapy treatments. As a result of the trials, the HeartMate 3 pump became the most-often used LVAD therapy with high success rates and lower complication rates.
“Over the last two decades, LVADs have revolutionized the way we treat patients with stage D heart failure. With a modern technological design that includes full magnetic levitation of the impeller, this pump represents the best LVAD our field has ever seen,” said Ezequiel Molina, MD, surgical director of the Advanced Heart Failure Program at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. “The HeartMate 3 device is a small, more portable and quieter LVAD than previous generations. Patients enjoy longer survival, experience fewer complications, and return to a fairly active lifestyle. And that is our goal – to improve the quality of life of our patients.”
Many heart failure patients rely on LVADs, which are heart mechanical support devices that can keep blood pumping throughout the body when medications are no longer effective. LVADs can mean the difference between life and death for patients whose hearts are too weak to pump blood adequately on their own. These devices are an effective option as a patient waits for a heart transplant or as long-term treatment.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is one of the most experienced LVAD programs in the country, implanting more than 80 devices each year. It has been at the forefront of all the major clinical trials to test new devices. In 1988, it became one of the first four hospitals in the world to implant this potentially game-changing technology in mechanical circulatory support. To date, MedStar Washington has successfully implanted more than 800 VADs.
MedStar Washington Hospital Center is a not-for-profit, 912-bed, teaching and research hospital in the nation’s capital, and is a major referral center for treating the region’s most complex cases. Its cardiology program is highly acclaimed, and its cardiac surgery program has consistently earned the highest national rating–three stars–from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. MedStar Washington operates the region’s first Comprehensive Stroke Center and the District’s only Cardiac Ventricular Assist Device program, both certified by The Joint Commission. The hospital is also home to MedSTAR, a nationally verified level I trauma center with a state-of-the-art fleet of helicopters and ambulances, and also operates the region’s only adult Burn Center.