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Finland’s First Artificial Heart is Implanted in a Patient – A Rare Treat in the World

Finland’s First Artificial Heart is Implanted in a Patient – A Rare Treat in the World



The team who implanted the first artificial heart in Finland. From left, Raili Suojaranta-Ylinen, the chief of department, Seppo Hiippala, heart anaesthesiologist, Karl Lemström, heart surgeon, and his counterpart Jan Kiss. Mikko Lax, a heart anaesthesiologist, is missing from the picture. Picture: HUS

The patient’s both heart ventricles were not working properly. Neither the medicine nor the artificial pumps helped.

The patient was waiting for a heart transplant but the situation looked bad.

A team of heart surgeons from the HUCH Heart and Lung Center at Meilahti, Helsinki were trying to figure out a solution.


Image: Total Artificial Heart

Finally, they decided to implant an artificial heart, which replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves.

The implanting of an artificial heart is a rare treat around the world. For example, in the Nordic countries only a few have been implanted.

The patient is now recovering from the surgery at the hospital in Meilahti.

After a while the patient can return home, with an aid of a mobile unit in a backpack, and the patient can start regaining the strength by walking, cycling and attending light exercise.

The artificial heart pumps independently maintaining the blood circulation. It works as a bridge to a donor heart transplant, which will be operated within three months to a year.

The implanting of an artificial heart always requires the presence of a heart surgeon, who has specialised in implanting artificial hearts. In addition, all the heart surgeons are required to study the theory and practical means of the subject.

“The artificial heart surgery requires special know-how and a heart transplant will be extremely challenging after this,” Karl Lemström, a heart surgeon from the HUCH Heart and Lung Center, said in a bulletin. “The artificial heart causes a reaction to foreign chemical substances in the body and the organs form adhesions around the artificial heart.”

About The Author

Tony Öhberg

The founder. Reporter and photojournalist. Salesman. Fluent in three languages. Pushing a career in journalism spanning two decades. Always looking for opportunities to tell another story.

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