A woman, 79, who received a partial artificial heart transplant has lived for over 1,000 days since surgery, Samsung Medical Center said Wednesday.
The patient was fitted with the then-latest third-generation left ventricular assist device in September 2016. This is the longest a patient has lived with a third-generation heart assist device in South Korea, according to the hospital.
The hospital’s heart failure/transplantation team, which performed the surgery, said the patient was healthy and was not experiencing any complications.
A ventricular assist device is a mechanical pump that partially or completely replaces the function of the patient’s heart.
Artificial hearts used to be a temporary solution for patients while they awaited donor organs.
However, the mechanical pumps are proving to be a more durable substitute, the hospital said, especially for elderly patients for whom prospects of a heart transplant are low.
"A 75-year-old patient fitted with a second-generation ventricular device in 2012 is still living with the device," the hospital's cardiac surgeons said.
“Even for elderly patients, an artificial heart transplant at the right time can be long-lasting, while improving the quality of life."
Samsung Medical Center’s cardiac surgeons (Samsung Medical Center)