First southern hemisphere full artificial heart transplant to be performed
The two heart and lung transplant surgeons—Dr. Jansz, the chair of transplantation surgery at Sydney University, and Dr. Spratt, the director of cardiothoracic surgery at St. Vincent’s—will perform the surgery at the St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney. A U.S. surgeon trained in the technique will supervise them.
In preparation for the historical surgery, the surgical pair will attend a two-day training course in Paris, France, which includes practice application of the surgical techniques on pigs.
The identity of the patient for which the surgery in September is intended is not known. However, it has been announced that the patient has end-stage heart failure, which is classified as severe heart disease that does not respond to medical or surgical treatment. Without a heart transplant, the patient will eventually die.
The artificial heart, called the CardioWest Total Artificial Heart (TAH-t), to be implanted into the patient reportedly costs $140,000. It is able to pump a maximum of 9.5 liters of blood a minute through the heart.
The CardioWest is manufactured by SynCardia Systems, Inc. It is a modern version of the Jarvik 7 artificial heart, which was first implanted into retired dentist Barney Clark in 1982.
More information on the artificial heart and the hospital follow.
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