Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have been increasingly used for 20 years in terminally ill patients with advanced heart failure or awaiting cardiac transplantation. Despite improvement in morbidity and mortality from use of these devices, quality of life may be limited by cataract. Access to cataract surgery in this predominantly elderly population is essential but limited by unfamiliarity with these devices. We describe phacoemulsification and intraocular lens implantation in 2 patients with LVADs. The patients had extensive preoperative cardiology evaluations and were instructed to continue warfarin through the day of surgery. Monitored sedation was used with fentanyl and midazolam. Both patients experienced significant improvement in visual acuity and quality of life. Neither experienced intraoperative hemodynamic instability. Cataract surgery may be safely performed in patients with LVAD support when adequate monitoring resources are available. Financial Disclosure No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems