HeartMate II Article In Today's Wall Street Journal Regarding Heart-Recovery
Here's the first three paragraphs of a much larger article
A mechanical pump that was invented as a temporary life support for patients with advanced heart failure is emerging as a potential tool to help hearts heal and function for the long term on their own.
The device, called an LVAD, takes over most of the heart's main pumping function and was designed initially to enable patients to survive until a donor heart became available for transplant. But doctors have discovered to their surprise that the heart can get better on the pump. When they remove it later to perform a transplant, the heart is sometimes dramatically improved.
"An LVAD is like putting the heart on the disabled list," says Joseph Woo, surgical director of the heart transplant and LVAD program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. As with sidelined athletes, taking the heart out of the game to ease its workload appears to enable it to recover.