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Outcomes Following Noncardiac Surgery in Patients with Ventricular Assist Devices: A Single-Center Experience

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the prevalence of ventricular assist devices (VADs) is increasing as advanced cardiac therapies progress. These patients commonly require non-cardiac surgical procedures (NCS), although data are scant regarding the safety, timing, and operations that may safely be performed. We aim to describe our experience with VAD patients undergoing NCS. We retrospectively reviewed records on patients who underwent NCS after VAD implantation between 2013 and 2015 at a single Joint Commission‐accredited VAD institution. Data collection included demographics, ischemic cardiomyopathy or nonischemic cardiomyopathy, operative details, and perioperative anticoagulation management and outcomes. Seventy-two NCS were performed by general surgeons, thoracic surgeons, plastic surgeons, urologists, vascular surgeons, ENTs, and other services. Procedures were similarly varied, including video-assisted thoracoscopy with decortications or lung biopsy, tracheostomies, percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomies , exploratory laparotomies, and wound debridements and/or closures. The ten deaths in the study group were judged not to be directly related to NCS. Eleven cases had postoperative bleeding and two cases had postoperative thrombosis, including one pump thrombosis. Based on our results, VAD is not an absolute contraindication to NCS, and a variety of NCS procedures can safely be performed. Further study should focus on quantifying and mitigating the risk that VADs bring to NCS.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: MedStar Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2017

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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