Mechanical Circulatory Support (MCS)
A mechanical circulatory support (MCS) device helps your heart function when it is not working at its best. We offer the latest technology and most advanced heart support options in ventricular assist devices (VAD) and total artificial hearts for individuals who need MCS. The second, third, and soon fourth-generation MCS devices we use are much smaller, more efficient, safer, and easier to implant.
Our experienced doctors work with every type of MCS device available today and offer minimally invasive approaches. They are also involved in new research to continually improve treatments. Stanford has been pioneering this field since 1984, when our 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.
Learn more about our Mechanical Circulatory Support Program at Stanford Health Care.
Do I need a MCS device?
Some individuals may need short-term MCS support prior to a heart transplant, while others need long-term support. About 2,000 donor hearts become available each year for more than 3,000 Americans on the transplant wait list, according to the National Institutes of Health.
You may need a MCS device for:
- Bridge-to-transplant: A MCS device can help you while you wait for a donor heart, which can take time. It takes over the work of your heart prior to a heart transplant.
- Long-term destination therapy: If you are not a candidate for transplant or surgery, these devices can support your heart long term.
Types of MCS devices: Ventricular assist devices and artificial hearts
We specialize in two types of MCS devices:
- Ventricular assist devices (VAD): These devices take over the function of one of the ventricles in your heart. They take blood from chambers of the heart and help pump it to the body, supporting the heart. There are two types:
- Total artificial heart (TAH): This device replaces the function of both ventricles in people with end-stage heart failure. Stanford is the only program in Northern California to offer TAH.