Kochi: Kerala's first artificial heart implantation was successfully performed at a private hospital on a 61-year-old woman patient.
The cardiothoracic surgical team at VPS Lakeshore hospital implanted the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), an advanced and unique mechanism designed to aid patients suffering from heart failure by helping the bottom left chamber of the heart (left ventricle) pump blood out to the aorta and the rest of the body.
The patient, who has been undergoing treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) for the past six years, was admitted to the hospital with cardiogenic shock, breathing difficulty, and hypotension on September 13. Her condition deteriorated with ongoing heart failure with fluid in the lungs (pulmonary oedema) and she was shifted to ventilator support.
Even though the option to bring her back to life was a heart transplant, which needs a donor heart and an unpredictable waiting period, time was running out and it was then the doctors decided to implant LVAD - an artificial heart. With the family's consent, the doctors, on October 8 performed the nine-hour-long extremely rare surgery which saved her life.
Now the patient is safe and sound, she has started taking food orally, and is in the recovery phase undergoing rehabilitation. As per the medical team, she can live an improved, long, and normal life with this support.
D.S. Sujith, the cardiothoracic surgeon who led the team of professionals, said, as organ donation is in a plateau phase in Kerala, ventricular assist device (artificial heart) is a boon in the present scenario as a bridge to transplant as well as destination therapy.