An artificial heart is used as temporary heart during the heart surgery as well as permanent replacement to damaged heart. Theoretically and conceptually, the functions of the heart are very simple! It is just a hard muscle that pumps the blood in and out. Yet, it is the powerhouse of the body. Artificial heart is a simple prosthetic device implanted to replace the damaged biological heart.
An Artificial Heart – A Breakthrough in the Medical Industry
Transplantation of heart is the only option available to save a life in case of congestive heart failure. Heart transplant is one of the promising advancements in the medical industry. It is perceived as a holy grail! Heart transplant is a life saving surgical procedure; rather it refers to second birth or rebirth. Unfortunately, heart transplant is possible when a brain-dead person donate this organ. Many people lost their life as they were waiting for a heart donor. With thousands of successful heart transplants, a breakthrough has been experienced recently.
Implantable Replacement Heart, simply termed as Artificial Heart introduced as a substitute for the real heart. It is believed that implant of artificial heart is more likely to increase the survival rate and life expectancy period. The synthetic replacement of a core organ for the humans has been a dream and prolonged goal for experts in the field. The dream almost came true!
An Artificial Heart is not a Cardiac Pump!
A cardiac pump, although resembles an artificial heart is actually different from the latter. It is a temporary replacement used as an external device during any prolonged surgical procedure. The external device carries out the functions of a heart as well as the lungs. The cardiac pumps are not connected to the blood vessels. The external device can be used only for a few hours, which has a very short life span. An artificial heart is similar to a biological heart, in terms of functions, and connective tissues.
Artificial Heart Implant Procedure
The heart implant surgery is a highly complicated process. The core organ of the body is replaced by a foreign object. The temporary artificial heart, the cardiac pump or simply the heart lung machine is connected, which performs the functions of heart until the completion of surgery. Heart is divided into 4 chambers. In most cases, the left and right ventricles are removed. and the artificial heart is placed. Once it is properly placed, the cardiac pump is removed. The surgery requires more than hundreds of stitches to ensure proper placement of the implant. Also, a synthetic tissue called Graft is added to the implant, which connects the implanted heart to remaining portion of the biological heart with connective tissues.
How it Works
When the heart functions normally, arteries at the both sides pump the blood to both the ventricles simultaneously. In the next stage, both the ventricles simultaneously pumps out the blood from the heart. In case of implanted heart, when both ventricles are replaced with a foreign object, only one ventricle pumps out the blood, at one time. The right and left ventricles pumps out the blood alternatively, not together.
The Future of an Artificial Heart
A functional artificial heart reduces the percentage of death rate caused due to non-availability of heart donors, because there is an increasing demand for transplantation for heart in the recent years. However, the artificial heart is not just for everybody. Researchers are examining a lot to improve the make it a savior of life by reducing the complications involved.