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How to manage physiotherapy and rehabilitation in LVAD patients

Michel Lamotte, Dominique Hansen and Philippe Timmermans provide updated state-of-the-art insights

With more than 15.000 patients implanted worldwide and a survival rate of 80% at 1 year, and 59% at 5 years, left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation has become a valuable and lifesaving therapeutic option in medical management of heart failure patients who are refractory to other kinds of treatment. Some of the patients sent for LVAD implantation are chronic heart failure patients suffering from slow and progressive clinical deterioration. In these, a rehabilitation intervention is frequently proposed already before implantation. It is now evident that there are many clinical benefits of such intervention in this type of population. For patients after implantation, recommendations for exercise training and rehabilitation are established. The aim of this article is to describe these current guidelines in greater detail, and to provide updated state-of-the-art insights and knowledge (Piepoli 2013, Taylor 2014). Another aspect of rehabilitation is that all these cardiac patients (heart failure, LVAD, transplant) are following their training in the same place, they are progressively familiarised with the post LVAD implantation or even the post transplantation program.



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