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Third transplantation of mechanical heart performed in Ukraine

A team of surgeons from the Kyiv Heart Institute saved the life of a patient with dilated cardiomyopathy by implanting an artificial heart
20:43, 15 October 2018

112 Agency

On October 12, a team of cardiac surgeons from the Kyiv Heart Institute conducted a unique surgery - a mechanical heart was implanted to the chest of a patient diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy. It is reported by the press service of the medical institution.

"Mechanical heart" is a high-tech development of the German company Berlin Heart. It provides the patient with complete circulatory support at a time when his own heart is not capable of it. Such a “motor” can sustain the patient’s life for a long time, giving him the opportunity to wait for a donor heart transplant. The mechanical heart is implanted into the patient's chest and receives energy through an electrical cable from an external power supply. The turbine motor made of titanium constantly rotates in a magnetic field. Using silicone and graphite tubes, it is connected to the apex of the left ventricle and aorta.

The operation on the implantation of an artificial heart saved the life of 46-year-old Vasyl Pavlyuk from Ternopil region. He was brought to the operating table in critical condition.

The operation was carried out by the team of the Heart Institute of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine under the leadership of the Director of the Institute, Professor Boris Todurov together with Professor of the Cardiac Surgery from Clinic Sofia (Bulgaria) Dimitr Petkov.

"This is not an easy operation, I would say that this is a space technology. It is rather difficult to implant a mechanical device and make it work like a second heart and create additional blood flow. It is a team work, where each participant must be a reliable link and do their work as well as possible,” said the Director of the Heart Institute Borys Todurov.

The operation to implant an artificial heart is currently the only solution for patients with a diagnosis of dilated cardiomyopathy. Because of the existing legal obstacles to heart transplantation in Ukraine, this is an intermediate stage to transplantation, the Institute of Heart says.

One of the patients, who underwent the same implantation of a mechanical heart in 2016, lived with it for 9 months. Some people live with a mechanical heart for up to 10 years or more.

The first two transplantations of "mechanical hearts" were performed at the Heart Institute in 2016. Despite the fairly widespread use of this technology in developed countries, for Ukraine such operations remain unique.

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