Laparoscopic cholecystectomy in patients with heartmate ii left ventricular assist devices

Dustin L. Eck, Erol V. Belli, C. Daniel Smith, John A. Stauffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Introduction: With an expanding population of patients requiring ventricular assist devices, it is inevitable that these patients will require noncardiac surgery. Ventricular assist devices provide mechanical support for a failing heart either as a bridge to transplant or now as a long-term support if transplant is not available, so-called destination therapy. These devices can add significant technical challenges to abdominal surgery, in that the power supply and drivelines crossing the abdomen can potentially be damaged. The use of preoperative or intraoperative imaging may aid in locating these devices and increase patient safety. Materials and Methods: We describe a laparoscopic cholecystectomy in two patients supported with HeartMate® II (Thoratec Corp., Pleasanton, CA) left ventricular assist devices. Our use of fluoroscopic guidance in port placement is also described. A literature review was performed to assess the frequency of laparoscopic procedures performed on patients with similar ventricular assist devices and of complications associated with the device and other comorbidities. Results: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy was performed without significant intraoperative hemodynamic changes. The use of imaging, such as fluoroscopy, can identify the location of the ventricular assist device and its associated drive wires to assure they are not damaged intraoperatively. Conclusions: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy can be performed safely on patients with ventricular assist devices. Complications due to damage to the device can be avoided with the assistance of fluoroscopy to identify the implanted abdominal portions of the ventricular assist device. Each laparoscopic procedure performed on these patients presents the surgeon with unique obstacles in which careful operative planning and intraoperative monitoring are essential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)100-103
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Laparoendoscopic and Advanced Surgical Techniques
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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