Most biventricular pacemakers can also work as implantable cardio-defibrillators (ICD).
Procedures and surgery to improve blood supply to the heart
The most common cause of heart failure is coronary artery disease (CAD), which is a narrowing of the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. CAD may become worse and make it harder to manage your symptoms.
Blood that flows between the chambers of your heart, or out of your heart into the aorta, must pass through a heart valve. These valves open enough to allow blood to flow through. They then close, keeping blood from flowing backward.
When these valves do not work well, blood does not flow correctly through the heart to the body. This problem may cause heart failure or make heart failure worse.
Ventricular assist devices (VAD) help your heart pump blood from the main pumping chamber of your heart to the rest of your body. These pumps may be implanted in your body or connected to a pump outside your body.
You may be on a waiting list for a heart transplant. Some patients who get a VAD are very ill and may already be on a heart-lung bypass machine.
Total artificial hearts are being developed, but are not yet in wide use.
Intra-aortic balloon pumps (IABP) help maintain heart function in people who are waiting for transplants. They can also help patients who have a sudden and severe decline in heart function. The IABP is a thin, implanted balloon. Most often, it is inserted into the artery in the leg and threaded into the artery leading from the heart (aorta).
Mann DL. Management of heart failure patients with reduced ejection fraction. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 28.
Otto CM, Bonow RO. Valvular heart disease. In: Bonow RO, Mann DL, Zipes DP, Libby P, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 66.
Michael A. Chen, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Harborview Medical Center, University of Washington Medical School, Seattle, Washington Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.