Samsung Medical Center said Monday that it has become the first local hospital to achieve 20 cases of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) transplant.
The ventricular assist device is an implantable blood pump and is mainly installed in the left ventricle of the heart.
During the surgery, doctors place the device between the left ventricle and the aorta, and works by pumping blood from the left ventricle into the aorta. As the LVAD uses electricity, the wires come out of the skin and connect to a battery or other power sources.
The device is the last resort for patients who are waiting for a heart transplant due to terminal heart failure or have severe heart failure and other diseases.
The SMC’s heart failure team succeeded in the first domestic implantation of the second-generation left ventricular assist device in 2012. The team also succeeded in transplanting the third generation artificial heart for a patient with terminal heart failure for the first time in Korea in 2015.
The team currently holds the largest number of artificial heart transplant cases in Korea with 26 cases, while also maintaining the record on zero percent early mortality rate, the longest surviving patient, and the first successful minimally invasive artificial heart transplant.
The mean age of the 26 patients who had undergone surgery is 68 years old -- 20 men and six women. Of the total patients, four patients underwent heart transplantation and removed their LVAD, while 19 patients still live with the device inside their heart.