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Center for Circulatory Support

Center for Circulatory Support (CCS)


The Center for Circulatory Support (CCS) at the University of Michigan is an internationally-recognized, multidisciplinary group of physicians and allied health professionals providing medical treatment of adult and pediatric patients with cardiac disorders resulting in end-stage heart failure or cardiogenic shock. The Center for Circulatory Support is a regional and national referral center for these patients and offers state-of-the-art options for mechanical circulatory support.

The Gold Seal of Approval

University of Michigan Health System, Center for Circulatory Support Awarded Disease Specific Care Advanced Ventricular Assist Device Certification from The Joint Commission.


The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval

The Center for Circulatory Support earned the Gold Seal of Approval® for health care quality on April 10, 2008, and was one of the first centers to be awarded Disease-Specific Care Certification for Advanced Ventricular Assist Devices by The Joint Commission. Recertification by the Joint Commission was received in March 2010 and February 2012.

To earn this distinction, a disease management program undergoes an extensive, unannounced, on-site evaluation by a team of Joint Commission reviewers every two years. The program is evaluated against Joint Commission standards through an assessment of a program's processes, the program's ability to evaluate and improve care within its own organization, and interviews with patients and staff.

"This certification means The Center for Circulatory Support does the right things and does them well for Advanced Ventricular Assist Device patients."

Ventricular Assist Devices

The University of Michigan Center for Circulatory Support is one of only a few institutions worldwide which have access to many investigational and FDA-approved mechanical circulatory support systems. The Center for Circulatory Support is currently implanting the HeartMate II, HeartWare, Jarvik Heart 2000 Post Auricular Cable, CardioWest TAH-t, Abiomed AB5000, Abiomed BVS5000, Centrimag, Impella and TandemHeart devices. This allows for the selection of the most appropriate device based on each patient's individual needs. Our physicians are actively participating in several clinical trials evaluating new mechanical circulatory support devices in addition to developing new types of devices. To date the program has implanted nearly 600 long term devices and currently has over 130 patients on long term VAD support. The program currently is recognized for having both the longest patient on support, over 9 years and the longest patient on one continuous device, over 8 years. Read More.

For more information on Cardiac clinical research opportunities involving ventricular assist devices and systems, please visit UM Clinical Studies.

Mechanical Circulatory Support

Mechanical circulatory support is considered in patients with end-stage heart failure or cardiogenic shock. There are now a variety of devices capable of pumping blood to restore circulation of vital organs, even temporarily replacing the function of the native heart. Once the patient is stabilized, procedures such as bypass surgery, stent insertion, and/or medications can be offered to assist the injured heart to recover. Alternatively, if damage to the heart is beyond repair, patients can be considered for heart transplantation or implantation of more permanent heart replacement pumps that can allow individuals to lead active and productive lives.

Learn more about some of the options for mechanical circulatory assistance available at the Center for Circulatory Support at the University of Michigan:

  • Abiomed BVS5000(tm) Ventricular Assist Device (Abiomed, Inc., Danvers, MA)
  • Abiomed AB5000(tm) Ventricular Assist Device (Abiomed, Inc., Danvers, MA)
  • Berlin Heart Ventricular Assist Device (Berlin, Germany)
  • Cardiowest Total Artificial Heart (Syncardia, Tuscon, AZ)
  • CentriMag(r) Blood Pump Extracorporeal Ventricular Assist Device (Thoratec, Inc., Pleasanton, CA)
  • HeartMate(r) II Left Ventricular Assist System (Thoratec, Inc., Pleasanton, CA)
  • HeartWare HVAD(tm) Left Ventricular Assist Device (HeartWare International, Inc. Framingham, MA)
  • Impella Percutaneous Ventricular Assist Device (Abiomed, Inc., Danvers, MA)
  • Jarvik Heart 2000 Left Ventricular Assist Device (Jarvik Heart, Inc., New York, NY)
  • TandemHeart(tm) pVAD Ventricular Assist Device (CardiacAssist, Pittsburgh, PA)

Extra Corporeal Life Support (ECMO)

Some patients may develop lung failure in addition to heart failure. Supplemental oxygen or even artificial respirators are often incapable of providing life sustaining oxygen or removing dangerous carbon dioxide when the lungs are severely affected. Another form of life support can stabilize these patients while the organs recover. This treatment is termed ECMO, or Extra Corporeal Life Support, and involves insertion of catheters into the large blood vessels of the neck or groin. Using pumps, blood is circulated through membranes capable of transferring oxygen and carbon dioxide, similar to our native lungs. This blood is then circulated back into the body. Patients can be supported for days to weeks, until the heart and lungs recover, or until an implantable replacement or transplant becomes available. The University of Michigan has the largest ECMO experience in the world, and frequently hosts visitors from around the globe for education and training. Our team is capable of instituting ECMO within minutes or, under special circumstances, traveling to referring institutions to initiate ECMO for a safer transport to our center.