Kerala’s first artificial heart implant performed, says Kochi hospital

She was initiated on VA ECMO on September 16, and sustained on that for 20 days.

Published: 16th October 2021 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2021 06:32 AM   |  A+A-


For representational purposes

By Express News Service

KOCHI: The cardiothoracic surgical team at the VPS Lakeshore Hospital in Kochi has successfully performed Kerala’s first artificial heart implantation in a 61-year-old woman, the hospital claimed in a statement. The patient, who has been undergoing treatment for Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) for the past six years, was admitted to Lakeshore with cardiogenic shock, breathing difficulty and hypotension on September 13. Her condition worsened till the option of VA ECMO (venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, also referred to as extracorporeal life support) was suggested by the treating doctor.

She was initiated on VA ECMO on September 16, and sustained on that for 20 days. Kidney and liver functions were brought back to normal, yet cardiac function was just 10%, which was too low to wean off VA ECMO at end-stage heart failure, the hospital said.

“The only option to bring her back to life was a heart transplant, which needs a donor heart and an unpredictable waiting period. To continue on VA ECMO longer has its own complications, and to find a donor in such a time span was impossible. So the doctors decided to implant LVAD or Left Ventricular Assist Device, an artificial heart. LVAD is an advanced and unique mechanism designed to aid patients suffering from heart failure,” said the Lakeshore Hospital statement.

With the family’s consent, the doctors performed a nine-hours-long and extremely rare surgery, which saved her life. Now the patient is safe and sound, has started taking food orally and is in the recovery phase undergoing rehabilitation, the hospital said. LVAD is a complex and rare procedure, which is done in just a few centres in India. The device implanted on her is HeartMate 2 (second-generation ventricular assist device). 


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