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Glossary of Terms


If you have any questions or need more information about the terms defined below, please ask your physician.

  • AC Adapter: A power adapter that plugs into a wall electrical outlet.

  • Angioplasty: The process of widening a blocked or narrowed blood vessel to restore blood flow to the heart.

  • Anticoagulants: Medications used to slow your blood from forming clots.

  • Battery: One of the power sources used to run the HVAD System. Two batteries, or one battery and an AC adapter or DC adapter are required at all times.

  • Battery Charger: The unit used to charge batteries. With the HVAD System, up to four batteries may be charged at a time.

  • Bridge-to-Transplant: A medical indication and treatment protocol where a VAD is used to assist heart function while a patient awaits a heart transplant.

  • HVAD Controller: A small computer that operates the VAD and communicates information about how the VAD is working.

  • DC Adapter: A power adapter that uses power from an automobile electrical outlet to run the controller and VAD.

  • Driveline: The “cable” attached to the implanted VAD that passes through the skin to connect to the controller.

  • Exit Site: The location where the driveline passes through the skin.

  • HVAD® System: The shortened name for the HVAD System, which comprises the HVAD® Pump, controller, and power sources.

  • HVAD Pump: The name of the HeartWare VAD.

  • ICD: An abbreviation for Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator. This is an implanted device that sends small electrical shocks to the heart to stop fast, and potentially deadly, heart rhythms.

  • LVAD or VAD: An abbreviation for Left Ventricular Assist Device or Ventricular Assist Device. This is the mechanical pump that is implanted in the left ventricle of the heart.

  • LVAS or VAS: An abbreviation for Left Ventricular Assist System or Ventricular Assist System. This comprises the mechanical pump (LVAD), the controller, and each of the power sources (batteries, AC adapter, and DC adapter).

  • Pacemaker: A small implanted device that sends electri­cal signals to the heart via electrodes to cause the heart to contract. This device is intended to maintain a regular heart beat.

  • Patient Pack: worn around a patient’s waist or shoulder, this pack contains the VAD peripherals, such as the batteries and controller – enabling VAD patients to maintain a mobile lifestyle.

  • Pericardial Placement: the ability to locate the VAD in the double-walled sac that contains the heart; negating the need to create a more invasive pump pocket within the abdomen to hold the VAD.

  • Pump: A common alternate name for a LVAD or VAD.

  • Shower Bag: A water-resistant carrying case for your controller and batteries while showering.