This new procedure, a Canadian first, will reduce the need for some heart transplants.
Montreal - October 31, 2005
Surgeons at the MUHC (McGill University Health Centre) have successfully implanted a new kind of mechanical heart in two patients, the first time this new technology has been used in Canada. This new mechanical heart will allow some patients' damaged hearts to recover their normal function, and will reduce the need for heart transplants. This "bridge-to-recovery" technology promises to revolutionize the management of heart failure. The MUHC is one of only a handful of Canadian hospitals capable of installing the new mechanical hearts.
Until now, mechanical hearts were considered temporary devices designed to assist a diseased or damaged heart, in order to bridge the gap to a heart transplant. Patients who developed shock after suffering a heart attack were considered for mechanical hearts as a bridge to transplant, for example. "This new technology allows the patient's own heart to recover its normal function, thereby avoiding a heart transplant altogether," says Dr. Renzo Cecere, Director of the Mechanical Assist Program and Surgical Director of the Heart Failure and Heart Transplant Program of the MUHC.