Mechanical assistance devices provide support to the heart by helping the lower chambers of the heart pump blood into the rest of the body. A mechanical assistance device can help support the heart during or after surgery, while you’re waiting for a heart transplant, or if you learn that you’re ineligible for a heart transplant. These devices can be located outside the body (transcutaneous ventricular assist device) or inside the body (implantable ventricular assist device). An implantable device requires open chest surgery, a procedure in which your surgeon will make a cut in the center of your chest and open your rib cage to attach the device to your heart. Recovery times vary from person to person, but most people spend a few days recovering in intensive care and a week or more in the hospital after the surgery.