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Multiple complications are associated with use of ventricular assist devices (VADs). Cardiac-related complications and infections are most frequently reported. VADs, however, can also lead to a number of general surgical complications equally significant in terms of morbidity and mortality. The authors performed a systematic literature search to review current data that specifically relate general surgical complications to patients who undergo left VAD implantation. The review provides a relatively clear understanding of the spectrum of general surgical complications and shows that they contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality in these patients.