Is LVAD Right for Me?

Learn more about Scripps diagnostic tests and procedures used to determine LVAD readiness

A heart failure patient in an outdoor setting contemplates the possibility of LVAD as a treatment option.

In order to determine if an LVAD would be the right treatment for your heart condition, the Scripps LVAD team will conduct a thorough evaluation process.

This process involves various diagnostic tests and procedures, as well as consultations with doctors from several specialties. During this evaluation process, it is completely normal to feel overwhelmed. Rest assured that the entire Scripps LVAD team is here to support you.

Diagnostic tests and procedures

Highly qualified professionals within the Scripps LVAD program will determine which tests you will need as part of your evaluation process.

Commonly required tests include:

  • Blood tests to check for anemia, kidney function, liver function, prostate function, etc.
  • Blood and urine tests to check for infection.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG), echocardiogram, six-minute walk test and cardiac catheterization to check how well your heart is functioning.
  • Lung function tests, chest X-rays and chest CT scan to evaluate how well your lungs function.
  • CT scan of the head to rule out brain abnormalities or any evidence of prior stroke.
  • A colonoscopy may be performed to look for colon cancer if you have not had one recently.
  • Ultrasound of your carotid arteries and legs to rule out significant blockages.

Next steps

After all the tests are completed, the LVAD team will review your results and let your know if you are eligible for a LVAD. If you are selected, you will then have to make the decision whether to proceed with a LVAD or not. Some patients choose to get a LVAD, while others do not. The final choice will be up to you.