The First Implementation of a Total Artificial Heart in Macedonia was Performed at Acibadem Sistina Hospital

posted July 13, 2018

A total of 1.800 such surgeries have been performed globally, and our country has entered the list of 25 countries in the world where this most serious and most complex intervention in the cardiac surgery is performed, along the countries such as USA, Canada, France, Germany, Turkey, Great Britain , Italy

The first implantation of a total artificial heart in Macedonia was performed at Acibadem Sistina Hospital in Skopje. The patient, a 46-year-old man from Shtip, suffering from an exceptional heart failure, is in stable condition after the surgery and feels well.

The surgery, which lasted more than five and a half hours and ended on Wednesday early in the morning, was completely performed by the Acibadem Sistina team, led by the head of the Cardiac Surgery Department, Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Nikolikj.

Implantation of a total artificial heart, as a complex cardiac surgery, listed Acibadem Sistina Hospital at the very top of the world healthcare institutions that perform interventions by mechanical cardiac support. At the same time, it is a huge step forward for the Macedonian cardiac surgery, which included our country in the few countries in the world where such operations are performed.

"The implantation of a total artificial heart was the only solution for the patient who, due to the pronounced form of heart failure, lived with only 15 per cent of the cardiac capacity. The new heart provided him a new chance for life and another six years to get a corresponding transplant. During the intervention, his heart was completely removed and replaced with a total artificial heart. This intervention is the best solution, especially for patients with cardiac insufficiency in the right and the left ventricles and it is significantly more complex, unlike the implantation of an artificial LVAD pump, which gives mechanical support only to the left heart ventricle”, said Prof .Dr. Nikolikj.

Implantation of an artificial heart is the most serious and most complex intervention in the cardiac surgery. The actual surgery lasted for about five and a half hours, and with a great pleasure all ended perfectly. The patient is in stable condition, he is conscious and contactable. We are surprised by his recovery rate in a positive sense, says the head of the team, Prof. Dr. Nikolikj.

This surgery for implantation of a artificial heart surgery is the first in Macedonia, and the second in the region, after last year’s intervention at the Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases “Dedinje” in Belgrade, performed by Prof. Dr. Nikolikj as well.

"By implanting the first artificial heart, Acibadem Sistina continues to prove that it is a leader in introducing new interventions. In order to perform this special intervention, our cardiac surgery team passed professional education in Germany, performed by experts from Syncardia company, which is the world leader in developing mechanical hearts. Getting this education, the team of cardiac surgeons became the only certified team for performing this type of interventions in the Republic of Macedonia. A total of 1.800 such surgeries have been performed globally, and Macedonia has entered the list of 25 countries in the world where this extremely complicated cardiovascular intervention is performed, along the countries such as the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Turkey, Great Britain and Italy. .. " said Dr. Jana Marin, hospital director and member of the Board of Directors of Acibadem Sistina.

Sources from the Hospital state that if the implantation of the artificial heart was not performed in this patient, the prognosis for his survival would be reduced to several days or weeks. This surgery would enable the patient a decent and more comfortable life in the next six years, so he can wait for the transplantation of a donor heart.

The mechanical heart is of the same size as the natural one. It is powered by a battery, which, after leaving the hospital, the patient will carry in a special backpack of six kilograms. The implantation of a mechanical heart is a trend in world cardiac surgery, given the fact that it is more difficult to get a donor heart.

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