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Mechanical Circulatory Support

The UCSF Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program cares for patients with advanced heart failure using various types of mechanical heart pumps. These pumps – called left ventricular assist devices, or LVADs – can improve quality of life for patients who are awaiting heart transplant, as well as those with no remaining options aside from end-of-life care. They may also be used to allow a failing heart to rest until other treatment options become viable.

Request Appointment

When your heart failure symptoms become overwhelming and medications don't seem to be helping any longer, it is time to discuss other options with your cardiologist. Your doctor will talk to you about mechanical circulatory support therapy and can make a referral to our center to meet with the MCS cardiologist or surgeon. A referral is required to make an appointment with our program.

A referral to a different doctor does not mean that you can no longer be seen by your own cardiologist; he or she will follow up with you after your surgery, if it is determined that LVAD therapy is right for you.

If you haven't already done so, you will need to undergo several tests, which the MCS physicians will review to determine whether you are a good candidate for LVAD therapy. These tests include echocardiogram, heart catheterization and pulmonary function tests. You may need additional testing after you have seen the MCS physicians.

After the team has reviewed all your test results, your MCS physician will contact you to discuss whether LVAD is the best treatment for your heart failure.

Doctor referral required

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    Patient education

    What to Expect: Getting a VAD Implanted

    At UCSF, surgeons use minimally invasive techniques to implant your ventricular assist device (VAD). Learn more here.

    FAQ: Living with a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD)

    Find frequently asked questions regarding living with a Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) including, taking medication, daily routines, exercise and more.

    Decorative Caduceus

    MitraClip REPAIR MR Study

    The proportion of subjects who are alive, without stroke, CV hospitalization or acute kidney injury requiring renal replacement therapy at 2 years in the Device and Control groups, respectively


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    Sponsor-Initiated OCS Heart Perfusion Registry

    Patient survival at one-year post-heart transplant.


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    remedē System Therapy Study

    Proportion of subjects with peri-operative and long-term serious adverse events (SAEs) related to the remedē System implant procedure, device or delivered therapy


    Decorative Caduceus

    The EMPOWER Trial - The Carillon Mitral Contour System® in Treating Heart Failure With at Least...

    Freedom from a composite of major adverse events (defined as Device Embolization, Vessel Erosion, Cardiac Perforation, and occurrence of cardiac surgery or percutaneous coronary intervention) in the Intervention group is greater t...


    Decorative Caduceus

    Clinical Evaluation of the AccuCinch® Ventricular Restoration System in Patients Who Present Wi...

    MAE defined as: All-cause death, Myocardial infarction, Stroke, Need for non-elective cardiovascular surgery, Worsening of heart-failure requiring mechanical circulatory support for more than 24 hours Acute kidney injury requiring...


    Decorative Caduceus

    Modulation of SERCA2a of Intra-myocytic Calcium Trafficking in Heart Failure With Reduced Eject...

    New York Heart Association classification (I, II, III or IV)


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    Early Feasibility Study - Transcatheter Atrial Shunt System


    Decorative Caduceus

    Early Feasibility Study - Transcatheter Atrial Shunt System


    Decorative Caduceus

    Remote Dielectric Sensing (ReDS) Assisted Diuresis in Acute Decompensated Heart Failure

    Cumulative net fluid balance assessed by In's and Out's recorded in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) during hospitalization


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    Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry

    PAH guideline-recommended diagnostics assessed include chest radiography, echocardiogram, ventilation-perfusion (V/Q) scan, pulmonary function tests, overnight oximetry, and right heart catheterization and identified as either "co...


    Awards & recognition

    • usnews-neurology

      Among the top hospitals in the nation

    • One of the nation's best in cardiology and heart & vascular surgery

    • Rated high-performing hospital for heart failure

    • Ventricular assist device (VAD) program certified by the Joint Commission

    • 30p-2x

      lower rate of hospital readmissions

    • 30-50-2x

      lower rate of most complications

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    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

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    Related clinics

    Advanced Heart Failure Comprehensive Care Center

    400 Parnassus Ave., Fifth Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94143

    Heart Transplant Program

    400 Parnassus Ave., Fifth Floor
    San Francisco, CA 94143

    San Mateo Primary and Specialty Care

    1100 Park Place, Suite 100
    San Mateo, CA 94403

    Our research initiatives

    • UCSF-Heart-Failure-and-Pulmonary-Hypertension-Research-2x

      UCSF Heart Failure and Pulmonary Hypertension Research

      The UCSF Division of Cardiology conducts research aimed at improving the understanding and treatment of pulmonary hypertension and heart failure.

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