Samsung Medical Center, Korea’s first success of artificial heart transplant without performing sternotomy

February 12, 2020

Artificial heart that refers to left ventricular assist device (LVAD) is only hope for those whose heart transplant is hard to wait or impossible.

Unlike previous cases, for this case, the heart failure team of Samsung Medical Center performed surgery without performing sternotomy. So far, surgery has been usually performed by cutting the sternum about 20 cm vertically using an electric saw. However, the heart failure team performed the transplant surgery only by making two incisions whose size is about 5-8 cm above and below the heart.
In other countries, research is actively going on that such minimally invasive method can reduce surgical bleeding or right ventricular failure.
The patient who received artificial heart transplant at SMC needed minimally invasive treatment because his heart function deteriorated and did not recover after having heart attack, etc. Currently, the patient is being discharged as improvement seen after surgery.
Professor Yang Hyun Cho of Division of Cardiovascular surgery who performed surgery said that minimally invasive surgery has advantages for patients who need artificial heart so that this surgery should be considered first. Also, he emphasized to help patients to have long-term stability by developing the surgical skills.

Meanwhile, the heart failure team at SMC has performed 50 cases of artificial heart transplants, and this number is greatest in Korea. Also, the survival and discharge rate has been 100%.

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