Surgeons at UK Chandler Hospital will introduce a 20-year-old Kentucky man who is the first in Kentucky to receive an artificial heart with a portable driver that allows for mobility, university communications officials said Sunday.
UK is currently one of only 29 medical centers in the country and the only in Kentucky certified to perform this procedure with the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.
Present for the introduction will be the patient and his family; Dr. Michael Karpf, executive vice president for health affairs at the University of Kentucky; Dr. Eli Capilouto, president of the University of Kentucky; Dr. Jay Zwischenberger, chair of the Department of Surgery; Dr. Mark Plunkett, co-director of the Linda and Jack Gill Heart Institute; and Dr. Charles Hoopes, director of the Heart and Lung Transplant Program.
For patients dying of end-stage biventricular heart failure, there are only two options: an immediate donor heart transplant or a SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart that can serve as a bridge until a donor heart is available.
The Freedom portable driver is the world’s first wearable, portable driver for powering the Total Artificial Heart, and is designed to be carried by the patient in a backpack or shoulder bag. The portability of the Freedom driver allows patients to return home and recover while waiting for a donor heart to become available for transplant.