Doctors Save Man’s Life With Plastic Heart Transplant

February 16th, 2011 - 1:10 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Feb 15 (THAINDIAN NEWS) Doctors in the United States have successfully transplanted an artificial plastic pump into an Oklahoma pastor’s chest to replace his heart. The device, which is called the Total Artificial Heart, is created from plastic and powered by a pneumatic pump. This pump is carried around in a backpack by the recipient.

Although he underwent serious heart surgery when he was forty one years old, Pastor Troy Golden’s condition worsened in January of 2010, and he was placed on the waiting list for a heart transplant along with hundreds of thousands of others awaiting a heart. Many of those people die every year before a suitable donor can be found.

Troy was born with a genetic disease which is known as MarFan’s Syndrome, which effected the tissues around his heart and valves. During his prior surgery, the valves were replaced and his heart was re shaped, but that too eventually quit doing the job. His situation grew critical as no donor heart was available and his time grew short.

Dr Doug Horstmanhof, who is Troy’s cardiologist explained that a regular heart pump simply would not work., and so the team made the desperate decision to replace the entire heart. Thus the 160 gram Total Artificial Heart was transplanted into Troy’s chest by surgeon James Long.

Troy is still awaiting a heart donor, since the batteries in the plastic heart’s pump die frequently. Making it vital to keep new batteries with him at all times. The risk of clotting and infection is also continually elevated with this heart, but perhaps this new innovation will stop the death of any more patients who are waiting for a heart donor.

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