Heart transplant

Doctors perform first artificial heart transplant in the Netherlands

In what can be considered a breakthrough for the Dutch healthcare system, doctors at the University Medical Center in Utrecht performed life-saving surgery in which a patient received a brand new artificial heart. This is the first time that this type of surgery has taken place in the Netherlands.

First artificial heart surgery in the Netherlands

The 54-year-old man suffered from severe heart failure, and doctors report his situation was so critical he was unable to wait for a viable donor. This meant that doctors had to turn to experimental treatments to save his life.

About two weeks ago, doctors at Utrecht hospital performed life-saving surgery. Cardiologist Linda van Laake called the operation revolutionary, while cardiothoracic surgeon Faiz Ramjankhan said he was “delighted” to perform the first artificial heart transplant in the Netherlands.

The patient would recover well and was released from intensive care only two days after the operation. His doctors say he should be home in time for the Christmas vacation.

How do artificial hearts work?

An artificial heart offers only a temporary solution, and Ramjankhan says the long-term effects and effectiveness of the prosthesis are still being investigated. The artificial heart was developed in France, the first human transplant having taken place eight years ago.

This life-saving treatment does not come cheap – the heart costs 210,000 euros. Fortunately, the patient’s health insurance helped cover the costs.

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