With heart de­vice, Cheney may not need trans­plant, ex­perts say

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

WASHINGTON — For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney, bat­tling a life­time of car­diac dis­ease, has not de­cided whether to seek a heart trans­plant but could use the de­vice sur­gi­cally in­serted into his chest last week as per­ma­nent ther­apy for his con­di­tion, ac­cord­ing to a source close to the Cheney fam­ily and to heart sur­geons fa­mil­iar with the treat­ment.

“He has not made any de­ci­sion yet about a trans­plant,” the source said Thurs­day. “He is to­tally fo­cused right now on re­cu­per­a­tion and re­hab with his (cur­rent de­vice).”

Cheney, who suf­fered his first of five heart attacks at age 37, an­nounced Wed­nes­day that he had un­der­gone surgery last week to in­sert the de­vice. In a state­ment re­leased by his of­fice, he called the pro­ce­dure a new phase of “in­creas­ing con­ges­tive heart fail­ure” but said he thought he would soon re­sume an ac­tive life.

The de­vice im­planted into the for­mer vice pres­i­dent’s chest is known as an LVAD — or left ven­tric­u­lar as­sist de­vice. It is of­ten de­scribed as a tem­po­rary ther­apy rep­re­sent­ing a “bridge” to a trans­plant, fu­el­ing spec­u­la­tion that the 69-year-old Cheney may be on the path to­ward seek­ing a new heart.

But ex­perts said the new­est mod­els of the de­vice, es­sen­tially a pump, are con­sid­ered “des­ti­na­tion ther­a­pies” that can last for years.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.