Advances in mechanical circulatory support have significantly expanded the treatment options for patients with heart failure, whether acute or chronic. There are numerous devices available that offer patients short-, intermediate-, and long-term duration of support depending on their clinical needs and cardiac recovery. Each device has its own technical considerations and the decision which device to use depends on several factors, including what is available, the degree of support required, and expected duration of support. Additional issues that need to be considered in choosing level of support include right heart function, respiratory failure, and multi-organ derangements. A widespread availability of short-term ventricular assist devices and timely institution for effective hemodynamic support will translate into improved patient outcomes whether that is successful transfer to a tertiary care facility or recovery of inherent cardiac function. Implantable ventricular assist devices have and will continue to evolve into smaller and more durable devices, and the future for patients with advanced heart failure looks evermore promising.
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