LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — U of L Health – Jewish Hospital is the second facility in the U.S. to implant a new experimental artificial heart.

The Aeson total artificial heart was implanted into a middle-aged man from southern Indiana last Friday.  The man’s name was not released. It took seven-and-a-half hours to do the surgery on the patient, who had severe biventricular heart failure. U of L Health said in a release that he is doing well in the cardiac surgery ICU.

The device made by CARMAT in France is designed to help people with end-stage heart failure have more time to get a permanent heart transplant. The fully-implanted is a heart replacement and is powered by a portable external power supply worn by the patient.

The surgery was part of the Early Feasibility Study for Aeson, which only had the device approved in July. The surgical team was led by Mark Slaughter, M.D., lead cardiothoracic surgeon at U of L Health – Jewish Hospital, professor and chair of the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery in the U of L School of Medicine and cardiothoracic surgeon with U of L Physicians.

“We are excited to provide this new technology to patients in Kentucky and the surrounding region and be one of the first U.S. centers to implant this new total artificial heart,” Slaughter said in a release. “This device has the potential to save lives of critically ill patients suffering from biventricular heart failure who currently have very limited treatment options.”

The Aeson device supports both sides of the heart, unlike the widely used left-ventricular assist device. The LVAD pumps blood in just one chamber. The device also has biosensors that monitor the patient’s blood pressure and position and automatically adapts the heart’s cardiac output.

The technology could be a life-saver. More than 3,400 people are currently waiting for a heart transplant across the U.S.

The device is medically approved in Europe, where approximately 20 devices have been implanted. The first Aeson artificial heart in North America was implanted in July at Duke University.

The University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital have made artificial heart history before. On July 2, 2001, U o L cardiothoracic surgeon Laman Gray led the surgical team that implanted the first self-contained artificial heart in the United States at Jewish Hospital. The AbioCor artificial heart was implanted into Robert Tools, who lived five months on the device. The U of L surgical team also performed the first heart transplant in Kentucky at Jewish Hospital in 1984.

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