JACKSON – A University of Mississippi Health Care surgical team placed the state’s first implantable left ventricular assist device (LVAD) in Jackie Kirkman of Tupelo, improving her chances for an eventual heart transplant.
The LVAD, called a bridge to transplantation, is a mechanical blood pump that assumes some of the work for the heart. It’s reserved for end-stage heart failure patients who have run out of other lifesaving options.
With the shortage of donor organs, it’s possible to maintain and stabilize transplant patients with this device for a longer period of time.
“It will allow our patients to become stronger while they’re waiting for a heart transplant and keep them alive longer so they can have a transplant eventually,” said Dr. Curt Tribble, professor of surgery and lead surgeon for Kirkman’s procedure.