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Our Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program offers a team experienced in the most advanced devices available today, including ventricular assist devices and total artifical heart. We provide MCS technology to those waiting for a heart transplant (bridge-to-transplant) and those who do not qualify for a transplant, but have a poor quality of life on medical therapy (destination therapy).
Why Choose Us: Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program at Stanford Health Care
Our Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS) Program offers the latest technology in ventricular assist devices (VADs) and total artificial hearts. The second, third, and soon fourth-generation devices we offer are the most advanced heart support options available. They are much smaller, more efficient, safer, and easier to implant.
Stanford is one of only two destination VAD programs in Northern California and the only program in Northern California to offer the total artificial heart. In 2014, Stanford was the largest volume VAD implanting center on the West coast.
Highlights of our program include:
Expertise: Our team is experienced in the most advanced devices available and involved in the latest research into even newer devices. Stanford heart surgeon Philip Oyer, MD, was the first in the world to successfully implant and use a VAD for a patient awaiting a heart transplant. We were also the first program to deactivate a VAD using a catheter-based approach, and the first to use thalidomide to treat bleeding in these patients.
Access to the latest devices: Our cardiac surgeons' access to ventricular assist devices and artificial hearts is the most comprehensive in Northern California. Our experts work with every type of device available today, which means we can better tailor our treatment plan to your individual needs.
Minimally invasive approaches: Using the latest ventricular assist devices, our cardiac surgeons have invented new ways to implant VADs through small incisions that avoid splitting the breast bone. This is a better and safer way for patients who will eventually replace the VAD with a heart transplant.
Leaders in research: Our team is actively involved in new research and upcoming clinical trials related to cardiac regeneration therapy – a technique that implants stem cells along with heart pumps to facilitate healing and repair of heart muscle. We are also engaged in clinical trials studying the newest, most advanced devices.
The quick thinking of a Stanford-trained physician led to the use of a life-saving technology to save a young man fighting a hantavirus infection.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
At your first appointment, you will meet our heart failure team, including a heart failure physician and nurse. We will review your medical history and any of the tests that have been sent with you. During the visit, you will receive education about your condition, recommendations about changes to your diet, and may have medications adjusted and other tests ordered.
We usually obtain an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to measure your heart and valve function. We also obtain an electrocardiogram (EKG) to assess the rhythm of your heart. If you have a defibrillator or pacemaker, we may interrogate your device to make sure it is working appropriately. We may ask you to have blood drawn at our laboratory to check your kidney and liver function.
PREPARE FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT
Please bring your medication list and the actual pill bottles for those medications
Bring any test results, including laboratory tests. It is best to obtain the actual images on CD-ROM for echocardiograms, angiograms, and stress tests
We usually obtain notes from your physician beforehand, but encourage you to bring any medical documentation available to you.
If you need to have any diagnostic testing performed our clinic will help you set up appointments for the testing.
Plan to be at the clinic for one hour or longer.
AFTER YOUR APPOINTMENT
At future visits, depending on the severity of your condition, a number of diagnostic tests may be performed. These may include exercise stress testing (VO2 max testing), cardiac catheterization, or even genetic testing.
You may reach a transplant nurse coordinator at 650-498-9909.
Stanford Health Care provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well as the latest information and news for physicians and office staff. For help with all referral needs and questions, visit Referral Information.