What has NICE said?

Implanting a left ventricular assist device in people with chronic heart failure, who need a heart transplant but for whom a transplant is not possible, is safe enough and works well enough for use in the NHS.

NICE is asking health professionals to send information about everyone who has the procedure and what happens to them afterwards to the UK Central Cardiac Audit Database, so that the safety of the procedure and how well it works can be checked over time.

People for whom a heart transplant is an option should see NICE's guidance on short-term circulatory support with left ventricular assist devices as a bridge to cardiac transplantation or recovery.

What does this mean for me?

Your health professional should fully explain what is involved in having this procedure and discuss the possible benefits and risks with you. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. All of this should happen before you decide whether you want this procedure or not. Your health professional should ask you if details of your procedure can be collected.

Other comments from NICE

NICE said that only people who are likely to get continued benefit in terms of improved survival and quality of life should be offered this procedure. It also said that, although complications are common with the procedure, the potential benefits outweigh the potential for harm in the right people.

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