A medical team from Clínica Universidad de Navarra in Pamplona has successfully performed Spain’s first implant of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.
Heart of the matter
The 47-year-old patient, was suffering from severe dilated cardiomyopathy with biventricular heart failure. He had been on the transplant waiting list for more than a year due to difficulty finding a donor heart.
“It was this or it was over,” he said. “My situation before the operation was pretty bad because I could hardly take a shower, tie my shoes and do many things. I could not even sleep. I would lie down on the bed and feel like I was drowning because my heart had no strength.”
“The progressive worsening of the patient’s health left us no choice but to seek an urgent alternative,” said Dr Gregorio Rábago, director of cardiac surgery at Clínica Universidad de Navarra. “That is why we decided to implant the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart – so that we could stop his deterioration and recover his health until a matching donor heart is found.”
Similar to a heart transplant, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage, biventricular heart failure.