New pump brings good news to former vice president

interns Contributor
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If former vice president Richard B. Cheney’s experience is similar to that of other patients who have heart pumps implanted, he has a better than 50-50 chance of surviving two years.

The device, which takes over the work of the heart’s main pumping chamber, should lessen discomfort and allow Cheney to do activities as strenuous as riding a bicycle. But it is far from a miracle cure for end-stage congestive heart failure, the condition from which he apparently suffers.

Cheney, 69, had a left ventricular assist device implanted last week at Inova Fairfax Heart and Vascular Institute. In a statement Wednesday, Cheney said he was “entering a new phase of the disease . . . and decided to take advantage of one of the new technologies available.”

He has not made public key details of his treatment, including the exact type of device he received. It is not known whether a heart transplant is being considered. But experts on heart failure and published studies of ventricular assist devices sketch a general picture of his prognosis.

Full Story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/15/AR2010071504675.html