Kochi: Kerala's first artificial heart implantation was successfully done at a private hospital on a 61-year-old woman patient. The cardiothoracic surgical panel at VPS Lakeshore hospital implanted the Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD), an advanced and unique machine designed to aid patients suffering from heart failure by helping the bottom left chamber of the heart pump blood out to the aorta and the rest of the body.
The patient, who has been taking treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy for the past six years, was admitted to the hospital with cardiogenic shock, breathing difficulty, and hypotension on September 13. The patient’s condition worsened 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.