Exams and Treatments



Implantation of a ventricular assist device


The patient is admitted the night before or the morning of the procedure. The implantation of a left ventricular assist device such as the HeartMate II® lasts approximately 4 hours. The hospital stay is from 5 to 7 days and subsequent recovery time is approximately 3 months. 


The patient is admitted the day before or the morning of surgery. The implantation of a HeartMate II left ventricular assist system is a procedure that takes about 4 hours. The recovery time in the hospital is 5 to 7 days and the recovery thereafter is approximately 3 months.


Patients who may benefit from this device are first evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of surgeons, cardiologists, nurses and other professionals. Blood tests and imaging exams are conducted to assess the feasibility of the surgery, and particularly its potential benefits, for each person. If this procedure is considered the best treatment option, the professional team will guide the patient throughout all of the tests and clinical follow-up until the surgery.

The MHI will contact surgical patients at home to plan a pre-admission meeting. If you are unable to attend one of these meetings, you can still get a lot of useful information about your procedure in the MHI's Heart Surgery: Patient's Handbook. If you have concerns before the surgery, you can contact the nurse working with your surgeon at 514-376-3330, extension 4062.

For this procedure, patients must be hospitalized in the Surgical Unit the night before the procedure or must arrive early the morning of the operation. The required exams are as follows: blood work and biochemical analysis, coronary angiography, chest X-ray and, if required, cardiac ultrasound and cardiac CT scan.

On the day of the surgery:
• You must be in a fasting state as of midnight the night before.
• A member of the care team will shave the required areas of the body.
• After being shaved, patients must wash with a disinfectant soap and put on a new hospital gown.
• The nurse will give patients their normal medication as well as medication to help them relax. The nurse applies a nasal cannula to administer oxygen.
• A patient service associate takes the patient to the operating room, where a specialist administers anesthesia.

Heart Surgery: Patient's Handbook


The surgery is conducted in an operating room and the patient is put under general anesthesia. The surgical team implants the device so that it can assist the defective left ventricle.
After the surgery, patients are transferred to intensive care for 24 to 48 hours. Visits to intensive care are limited to one person for 5 minutes on the day of the surgery and for 15 minutes on the hour starting from 11:00 a.m. the next day.

After this period, patients are then transferred back to the Surgery Unit for 4 to 5 days.
At the Surgical Unit, the team will explain how the device works and assess the person's ability to return home and cope independently. In this unit, patients can have visitors during normal visiting hours.

Follow-up and side effects 

Follow-up is conducted by the multidisciplinary team, and regular appointments are scheduled at the outpatient clinic. 

Department of Surgery