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New mask policy at AHN facilities

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Surgical ear loop masks, at a minimum, must be worn within all AHN facilities.  Cloth face masks are no longer permitted, as they do not provide the best level of protection against Coronavirus.

Mechanical Circulatory Support

As heart failure progresses and your heart grows weaker, you may need mechanical circulatory support. These devices give your heart a rest by helping to pump blood.

At Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute, you have access to some of the most advanced heart support options available, including devices still in the clinical trial phase.

Heart support devices at AHN

We offer a comprehensive range of devices to support heart function, including:

  • Ventricular assist devices (VADs): Your doctor surgically implants a pump that helps your heart circulate blood.
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO): This machine pumps and oxygenates blood outside of your body giving your heart and lungs a rest. You must stay in the hospital while undergoing ECMO.
  • Intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP): This short-term, in-hospital support device uses an inflatable balloon system to aid your heart’s pumping action.
  • Total artificial heart: Our surgeons were the first in the region to use the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart for patients with end-stage biventricular heart failure. This device replaces the diseased heart and extends the life expectancy of those waiting for a heart transplant.

Options for heart transplant candidates

A VAD or other device can support your weakened heart until a heart transplant is possible. This technique is known as bridge to transplant.

VADs also can be used as a long-term option for those who are physically unable to get a heart transplant or do not want one. This technique is known as destination therapy.

AHN is one of the few centers in the country offering a bridge to bridge option. With this approach, you receive a series of different mechanical circulatory support devices until you’re ready to receive a more permanent device, such as a VAD. This process can get you strong enough to have a heart transplant. Learn more about heart transplants.

Contact us

Call (412) DOCTORS (412) 362-8677 or request an appointment to learn more about AHN cardiovascular services.