Information for the public

There is limited evidence about how well this procedure works, or how safe it is, for end-stage refractory biventricular heart failure. It is only used when other forms of treatment are not suitable and the person is waiting for a heart transplant. This procedure can be used but only when patients are being monitored carefully to see how well it is working or if it has caused problems.

End-stage biventricular heart failure means that both sides of the heart are no longer strong enough to pump blood around the body. An artificial heart implant involves removing the weakened 2 lower chambers of the heart and 4 valves of the heart and fixing a mechanical device to take over their role. The device is powered by batteries or an external power supply. It can be used for people who are waiting for a heart transplant and are at risk of dying. The aim is to extend life until a donor heart becomes available.

NHS Choices may be a good place to find out more. NICE’s information on interventional procedures guidance has more about what a procedure is and how we assess them.

Is this procedure right for me?

If you’ve been offered this procedure, your healthcare professionals should discuss with you what is involved, and tell you about the risks and benefits. They should talk with you about your options, and listen carefully to your views and concerns. Your family can be involved too, if you wish. All of this should happen before you agree (consent) to have the procedure. You should also be told how to find more information about the procedure. Read more about making decisions about your care.

Some questions to think about

  • What does the procedure involve?
  • What are the possible benefits? How likely am I to get them?
  • What are the risks or side effects? How likely are they?
  • What happens if the procedure doesn’t work or something goes wrong?
  • What happens if I don’t want the procedure? Are there other treatments available?

ISBN: 978-1-4731-2752-4

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