Although the incidence of driveline failure has been significantly reduced with the major modification to the driveline connection to the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD), internal and external driveline damage continues to be a major reason for pump exchange or driveline repair. We report three cases of internal driveline damage under the costal margin and in the adjacent abdominal wall. All three cases developed occasional electrical disruptions 2–5 years after the original LVAD implant through the median sternotomy. Two patients underwent subcostal LVAD exchange and one had driveline externalization and repair. The driveline velour was well adhered to the costal margin and wire damage was found at the costal margin as well as the subsequent segment in the abdominal wall. Repeated ante-flex bending of the abdominal wall over years appeared to cause the chronic wear and tear of the vertically located driveline under the costal margin. This report will confirm a pitfall of the LVAD driveline location which can potentially cause driveline damage in the mid-to-long term.
- LVAD complication
- Left ventricular assist device
- VAD driveline damage