Israeli surgeons implant first permanent artificial ventricle
Fifteen surgeons who implanted the first permanent artificial left ventricle in a patient are confident that the tiny device will eventually be used in most heart transplantations around the world. The 64 year old patient was terminally ill when he received the implant, having experienced severe heart problems for several months, and he died five days later on 1 August of multiple organ failure. His own heart had been working at only 10% capacity at the time of the implant.
Dr Jacob Lavee, head of the department of cardiothoracic surgery at the Sheba Hospital, near Tel Aviv, performed the 12 hour operation with the help of colleagues. He said that guidelines allowed implantation of the HeartMate II device only in a patient with no other treatment options. The man would have died “within six hours” if he had not received it, Dr Lavee said. The device was “functioning perfectly” when