Heart Vascular Stroke Institute of Samsung Medical Center (SMC) was designated as Asia’s first third-generation artificial heart transplantation center of excellence by the global health-care company Medtronic. As such, the global-level skills of the SMC artificial heart transplantation team was certified, as no heart transplant institute in Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan have earned the designation yet.
The HeartWare ventricular assist device (HVAD), which replaces the heart for mechanical pumping, is the smallest artificial heart of the conventional implantable left ventricular assist devices (LVAD). It is used for the treatment of patients who are on a long heart transplant waitlist or who are not eligible for a heart transplant. At present, Korea has a third-generation artificial heart, which is the latest model.
SMC is a leader in the field of artificial heart transplantation in Korea and has a record of performing 67 successful cases, including Korea’s first second-generation artificial heart transplant in 2012 and third-generation artificial heart transplant in 2015. Moreover, it ranks first in the country for performing the most artificial heart transplants with a discharge rate of 98%.
Under the designation as the center of excellence, domestic and foreign medical staff can receive training on artificial heart procedures at SMC, which has great clinical experiences and infrastructure.
Starting with the opening of Korea’s first artificial heart clinic in 2016, SMC Heart Vascular Stroke Institute consists of a multidisciplinary team of cardiology, cardiac surgery, critical care medicine, cardiac rehabilitation, and heart failure specialist nurses who manage a comprehensive process from diagnosis and operation to pre- and post-operational care.