The new allocation criteria classify patients on veno-arterial extracorporeal membranous oxygenation (VA-ECMO) as the highest priority for receiving orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT) especially if they are considered not candidates for ventricular assist devices. The outcomes of patients who receive ventricular assist devices (VADs) after being listed for heart transplantation with VA-ECMO is unknown. We analyzed 355 patients listed for OHT with VA-ECMO from the United Network for Organ Sharing database from 2006 to 2014. Univariate and multivariate Cox proportional-hazards models were used to determine the contribution of prognostic variables to the outcome. Thirty-three patients (9.3%) received VADs (15 dischargeable, 7 non-dischargeable VADs). The VAD and non-VAD groups had similar listing characteristics except that the VAD group were more likely to have non-ischemic cardiomyopathy (48.5% vs. 25.2%), and less likely to be obese (6.1% vs. 25.2%) or have a history of prior organ transplant (3% vs. 31.1%). Patients who underwent VAD implantation had more days on the list (median 189 vs. 14 days) compared to the non-VAD group. Amongst the patients who had VADs, (25/33) 75.5% patients were subsequently transplanted with similar post-transplant survival compared to the non-VAD group (72% vs. 60.5%; p = 0.276). Predictors of one-year post-transplant mortality included panel reactive antibodies (PRA) class I ≥ 20%, recipient smoking history, increased serum creatinine and total bilirubin. Therefore, a small proportion of patients listed for transplantation with VA ECMO undergo VAD implantation. Their waitlist survival is better than non-VAD group but with similar post-transplant survival.