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Man receives fully artificial heart

Man receives fully artificial heart Life saving operation earns time in search for donor heart

A 40 year old man with heart failure has received a new lease on life by being fitted with a fully artificial heart.

Matthew Green had been critically ill suffering from biventricular heart failure. He received the artificial organ in a six hour operation at Papworth Hospital in Cambridgeshire in June.

He is on a heart transplant waiting list but his failing heart meant that unless this operation was performed, he might not have survived.

The Total Artificial Heart will keep Mr Green's circulation going until a donor heart can be found.

Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director at the British Heart Foundation, said: “For some patients with severe heart failure transplantation is their only hope of long term survival, but donor hearts are not always available.

"Previous versions of the mechanical heart have supported only the left side of the heart - the side that does most of the work - but the Total Mechanical Heart replaces both sides and so can be used for anyone with severe heart failure."

Unlike other patients with mechanical hearts, who are permanently connected to a power supply, Mr Green's artificial heart is powered by a 6kg battery that fits into a shoulder bag, which means that he has been able to go home.

The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart Mr Green received replaces both failing ventricles and the heart valves they contain, relieving the symptoms and effects of heart failure.

"It's going to revolutionise 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," Mr Green said.

This article was published on Tue 2 August 2011

Image © Sebastian Kaulitzki -

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