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Do Not Touch the Sternum—Thoracotomy Incisions for HVAD Implantation

Deuse, Tobias; Reichenspurner, Hermann

doi: 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000039
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Median sternotomy is associated with specific complications, and sternal wound infections carry a high risk for left ventricular assist device patients. Techniques using thoracotomy incisions and sparing the sternum are therefore being developed to reduce complications and increase patient safety. The HeartWare ventricular assist device (HVAD) continuous flow pump is a miniaturized full support device that lends itself especially well for lateral implantation. We here present our techniques for HVAD implantation with outflow to either the ascending or the descending aorta.

From the University Heart Center Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany.

Submitted for consideration July 2013; accepted for publication in revised form October 2013.

Disclosure: T.D. has received honoraria from HeartWare. The remaining authors have no conflicts of interest to report.

Reprint Requests: Tobias Deuse, MD, University Heart Center Hamburg, Martinistr. 52, 20246 Hamburg, Germany. Email:

Copyright © 2014 by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs