News and Events

News and Events

A mechanical heart has been transplanted into a patient for the first time in north India, it was announced overnight.

Iraqi man Rabeea Majhool, 29, was standing for the announcement just eight days after undergoing the landmark cardiac surgery at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon, Haryana.

Cardiac Surgeon Dr Sandeep Attawar, Director of cardio thoracic vascular surgery, said that the implant held the potential to help thousands of people who die each year while waiting for a donor heart, including many in Australia.

“This is currently the most sophisticated technology and the only FDA-approved technology available in the world and a permanent solution to heart failure,” he told ninemsn, adding that the device could soon replace conventional heart transplants altogether.

Dr Attawar said the artificial heart – nicknamed “Heart Mate II” –had comparable results, vis-a-vis heart transplantation on patients, both of which are said to add up to 10 years to a person’s life.

The 29-year-old was in India for his wedding when a mild respiratory infection spread from his lungs to his heart and quickly turned fatal.

Unlike short term heart-assist devices normally used for patients waiting for transplants, the Heart Mate II supports the failing heart with patients taking a blood thinning medicine to ensure the free flow of blood, Dr Attawar said.

It does not require the intake of immune-suppressants to aid organ acceptance meaning a lower risk of contracting infection post-surgery, and the implanted device has an expected longevity of 60 years, theoretically.

Mr Majhool was just weeks away from his wedding when a mild respiratory infection spread from his lungs to his heart.

Within a fortnight of contracting the disease, he was diagnosed with severe left ventricular dysfunction and doctors at home in Iraq told him that without a heart transplant there was no hope.

Long transplant waiting lists combined with a grim prognosis saw him look to the new technology in India.

Gurgaon’s Fortis Memorial Research Institute’s Dr Sandeep Attawar announced yesterday that the surgery had been a success yesterday.

The complex surgery was explained in detail by doctors, who hope the mechanical heart could help thousands of people waiting for a donor.

Mr Majhool’s September 17 surgery was a “momentous step towards continuity of life” of patients awaiting heart transplants in both India and abroad.

His mechanical heart is the third of its kind to be implanted in India.

Heart failure is estimated to affect close to five million people in India and the rate of organ donation is few.

Under the Human Organ Transplant Law, a foreign patient can only receive a cadaveric organ only the national waiting list is exhausted.

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