First heart device implantation in Azerbaijan

21 January 2013 20:16 (UTC+04:00)

By Nigar Orujova

For the first time in Azerbaijan, an artificial heart device was implanted in the Central Clinical Hospital in the capital Baku, the hospital said on Saturday.

The implantation of a HeartMate II device was carried out on a 44-year-old patient, chief physician Kamran Musayev said at a press conference on Monday.

HeartMate II is Thoratec's first-line intermediate-to-chronic left ventricular assist device. Designed to dramatically improve survival and quality of life, the HeartMate II was developed with the goal of providing several years of circulatory support for a broad range of advanced heart failure patients.

HeartMate II attaches to the heart and is designed to assist - or take over - the pumping function of the patient's left ventricle - the main pumping chamber of the heart. The device is designed to restore blood flow throughout the body, enabling the patient to breathe more easily and feel less fatigued.

Its small size and quiet operation make the HeartMate II suitable for a wider range of patients. With product attributes specifically developed to minimize the risk of complications, the HeartMate II is exceptionally durable and dependable.

At present, the heart that underwent surgery operates normally, and the patient will be discharged from hospital in the coming days.

The patient also had disturbance in the functioning of other vital organs, was on powerful medication and confined to bed.

After a medical examination by highly qualified cardiologists, doctors decided to go ahead with the implantation of an artificial heart device, added Musayev, who chairs the Azerbaijan Cardiovascular Surgery Society.

The number of such surgeries worldwide is increasing nowadays and they save the lives of many patients, Musayev said.

According to Musayev, highly skilled specialists and special equipment are needed for artificial heart device implantation, therefore, such an operation cannot be carried out in any medical institution.

"The conduct of such operations by highly qualified staff in Azerbaijan is an indicator of the high level of healthcare and cardiosurgery in the country," Musayev noted.

According to www.syncardia.com, there are less than 3,500 donor hearts available worldwide per year. For that reason, scientists worldwide are coming up with numerous ways to support failing hearts, so that patients' lives may be improved, and in some cases extended.

Patients who have some remaining heart function but who can no longer live normally may be candidates for ventricular assist devices (VAD), which do not replace the human heart but complement it by taking up much of the function. The VAD can help patients on the wait list for a heart transplant.

The first Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) system was created by Domingo Liotta at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in 1962. Another VAD, the Kantrowitz CardioVad, designed by Adrian Kantrowitz, boosts the native heart by taking up over 50% of its function.