New director, new studies propel Ventricular Assist Device Program forward
With one of the country’s largest ventricular assist device (VAD) programs, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is offering people with advanced heart failure fresh hope for a better quality of life. Ahmet Kilic, MD, newly appointed medical director of Ohio State’s Ventricular Assist Device Program, leads both clinical and research efforts.
Ohio State’s Ventricular Assist Capabilities
Ohio State is recognized worldwide for its leadership in cardiac mechanical support. We have three cardiac surgeons who specialize in mechanical assist devices. Together, they implant long-term and temporary devices in more than 50 patients a year.
“We have the largest heart failure program in central Ohio, and most of our patients have advanced heart failure. Our goal is to recommend the best option for each person and provide excellent, patient-focused care,” says Ayesha Hasan, MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon and associate professor of Cardiovascular Medicine. “We want to see people as early as possible in the disease process to provide optimal outcomes. In the majority of cases, we can help improve the quality of life,” she continues.
Dr. Kilic adds, “Our expertise in providing a continuum of care for heart failure patients through a dedicated Heart Failure Disease Clinic allows us to care for some of the most complex patients.”
Primary reasons to implant long-term devices are as a bridge to heart transplantation or as destination therapy — a permanent solution for patients with advanced heart failure.
- Heartmate, a VAD implanted in the chest to promote continuous blood flow from the left side of the heart into the aorta. The VAD is run by a small external computer, which is connected to the pump via a small cable that passes through the upper abdomen.
- HeartWare, a more recently developed VAD approved as bridge to transplantation. It is implanted entirely within the heart sac and can be implanted in a wide range of people, including those of smaller stature.
- C-Pulse counterpulsation technology, available only through clinical trials. See below.
In addition, our surgeons can help patients in cardiogenic shock with temporary devices that sit outside the body to provide immediate circulatory support. “We have access to every available ventricular assist device, and our short-term and long-term survival rates exceed the national average. Quality in care is something we are very proud of and we will continue to hold ourselves to the highest expectations for our patients,” Dr. Kilic says.
“We have a very robust research program,” Dr. Kilic explains. “Taking part in national and international trials translates into better care for our patients.”
VAD studies currently under way at Ohio State include:
- HeartWare clinical trial to evaluate the pump’s effectiveness as a destination therapy in addition to continuation of its Food and Drug Administration-approved use as a bridge to transplant
- HeartMate II® Prevent trial to reduce the rate of and prevent pump thrombosis
- HeartMate II® Roadmap trial to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of this VAD versus optimal medical management in ambulatory heart failure patients
- C-Pulse trial to evaluate counterpulsation technology that acts like a balloon pump to increase coronary blood flow and cardiac output and reduce the heart’s pumping workload among patients with Class III and ambulatory Class IV heart failure
Ohio State enrolls its patients in INTERMACS (Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support), a national registry with more than 6,000 patients from 145 hospitals that helps classify the severity of a patient’s illness and predict mortality of patients receiving a VAD implant.
Comprehensive Care Model for Heart Failure
Our surgeons collaborate with heart failure specialists, nurse practitioners, VAD coordinators, pharmacists, social workers and dietitians — all working in our Heart Failure Disease Clinic — to provide ongoing care for more than 90 patients with long-term VADs.
VAD procedure numbers continue to increase at Ohio State, as a long-standing tradition of excellent care continues. “We’re on the forefront with new technology, including clinical trials in 2015 for the next generation of devices,” Dr. Kilic says. “My hope is to continue to build on the VAD Program’s strengths and engage the various physicians involved in the care of these complex patients. With continuous communication and early referral, we can continue to care for the ever-increasing number of heart failure patients.
“The goal is to not only improve their survival, but perhaps more importantly, the quality of life for all of those suffering from advanced heart failure,” Dr. Kilic concludes.
About Our Medical Director
Ahmet Kilic, MD, joined The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in 2011 as a cardiothoracic surgeon, assistant professor of Surgery in the Division of Cardiac Surgery and clinical investigator for the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute.
In addition to serving as medical director for the Ventricular Assist Device Program, he helps lead Ohio State’s Level 1 Heart and Vascular Emergency Program and is the director of Education for the Cardiothoracic Surgery Training Program.
Dr. Kilic earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia – Virginia Commonwealth University. He completed his surgical training at the University of Maryland and his cardiothoracic surgery residency at the University of Virginia.
You can reach Dr. Kilic at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 410-302-1396.
Make a Referral to Ohio State’s Mechanical Assist Device Program
Heart Failure Disease Clinic
VAD and Heart Transplant
If a patient’s condition warrants an urgent outpatient evaluation or inpatient transfer, please notify us so we can expedite the patient’s care. To arrange a same-day physician consult or patient transfer, call our 24-hour referral and transfer service at 614-293-4444 or 800-824-8236.