Heartmate ii implantation technique that spares the sternum and ascending aorta

Masashi Kawabori, Chitaru Kurihara, Tadahisa Sugiura, Andrew B. Civitello, Jeffrey A. Morgan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have become the standard therapy for patients with end-stage heart failure, and the use of LVADs for long-term support has grown exponentially over the past decade. As the number of LVAD implantations has increased, surgeons have faced more challenging cases, such as those in which the patient has previously undergone a sternotomy. The HeartMate II is one of the most widely implanted LVADs. The standard procedure for HeartMate II implantation is median sternotomy and sewing the outflow graft to the ascending aorta. However, in patients with sternal comorbidities, it can be advantageous to use a less invasive approach that avoids this procedure. We describe the case of a 64-year-old man with a history of end-stage ischemic cardiomyopathy who had previously undergone a median sternotomy and a coronary artery bypass grafting operation and had patent grafts. He required a HeartMate II LVAD (destination therapy), which was implanted via a left subcostal incision; the pump was placed subdiaphragmatically, and the outflow graft was sewed to the descending aorta to avoid a complicated redo cardiac operation via median sternotomy and to minimize the risk of injuring the patent bypass grafts. The patient survived for more than 500 days postoperatively. This approach is feasible and could be a safer method for implanting a HeartMate II device in patients with serious comorbidities that preclude the use of the traditional implantation techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-461
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Artificial Organs
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 21 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • HeartMate II
  • LVAD
  • Surgery
  • Technique

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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