subscribe: Posts | Comments

Total Artificial Heart Transplant

Total Artificial Heart Transplant

A temporary Total Artificial Heart transplant saves the life of British man…

A British man has become the first person to be implanted with a completely artificial, but temporary heart, following a life-saving transplant at Papworth Hospital, June 9th.

Matthew Green, 40, who has already been sent home to await a transplant from a human donor, is said to be the first person in the UK to leave hospital with a completely artificial heart. While 900 similar operations have been carried out worldwide, this is the first time a temporary artificial heart that supports the function of both ventricles has been successfully transplanted.

The Total Artificial Heart, which is manufactured by SynCardia, is a modern version of 1980’s design called the Jarvik-7. The first Jarvik-7 was transplanted in 1986 and supported the patient for two days before a donor was found.

The newer version also acts as a ‘bridge-to-transplant’, but this time, for patients dying from end-stage biventricular heart failure; where sides of the heart are failing.

The artificial heart is powered by a 13.5lb (6kg) portable battery worn in a backpack and is not suitable for long-term use, however, Mr Steven Tsui, director of the transplant service at Papworth in Cambridgeshire, said that without it, Green might not have survived the wait for a heart transplant surgery.

“Matthew’s condition was deteriorating rapidly and we discussed with him the possibility of receiving this device, because without it, he may not have survived the wait until a suitable donor heart could be found for him.”

Green, had been suffering from Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy (ARVC), a heart muscle disease that results in arrhythmia, heart failure and even sudden death.

As both sides of his heart slowly declined, so did his health; it took just two years for Green to go from cycling 9 miles to and from work every day, to being bed rendered and unable to walk.

Green, who has already made an excellent recovery, told reporters:

“It’s going to revolutionize my life. Before I couldn’t walk anywhere. I could hardly climb a flight of stairs and now I’ve been up and I’ve been walking out and getting back to a normal life…

“I went out for a pub lunch over the weekend and that just felt fantastic, to be with normal people again.” [BBC]

Related posts:


, , , ,


  1. Plastic heart gives dad Matthew Green new lease of life. BBC, 08/02/2011.
  2. Thumbnail Image Credit: SynCardia, 2011.

Comments are closed.