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Patient Receives Implanted Heart

The patient — whose name and gender are not being released — is said to be resting comfortably at Jewish Hospital in Kentucky.

Two surgeons from the University of Louisville implanted the softball-sized pump during a seven-hour operation, in the first of a five-patient clinical trial.

The device is said to be the world’s first self-contained artificial heart. It is battery-powered and runs without wires, tubes or hoses sticking out of the chest.

Doctors said the patient was expected to die within a month before the implant, but may live another two months now. Over time they say they hope that the device will extend patients’ lives by five years.

Doctors say that if the implant prove successful, that they hope to extend the trial to several dozen patients.

Experts say the AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart is an improvement from past artificial hearts that attached to bulky wires and pumps outside of the body.

The most famous example was the Jarvik-7, first implanted in patient Barney Clark in 1982. The Jarvik had an external console about the size of a washing machine. No recipient lived longer than 620 days with it.

The AbioCor is designed to move blood through the lungs and to the rest of the body, simulating the rhythm of a heartbeat.

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