40-year-old Father Becomes First Artificial Heart Patient in Great Britain

Matthew Green has become the first British man to receive an artificial heart thanks to groundbreaking surgery.

Matthew Green has become the first British man to receive an artificial heart thanks to groundbreaking surgery at Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge. Green had been critically ill, suffering from end-stage failure of both chambers of his heart and suffered from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathia, a heart muscle disease that results in arrhythmia, heart failure, and sudden death.

During the six-hour operation last month, surgeons removed Green’s damaged heart and replaced it with the device that will serve as both ventricles and heart valves. The artificial heart provides a blood flow of up to 9.5 liters, eliminating the symptoms and effects of severe heart failure. A “freedom portable driver,” worn like a backpack or shoulder bag, will power the device.

Steven Tsui, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the transplant service, led the transplant team at Papworth. Tsui stated that Green’s condition “was deteriorating rapidly…without [this device] he may not have survived the wait until a suitable donor heart could be found for him.” Tsui also described the high demand for heart transplants, saying that “at any point in time there may be as many as 30 people waiting for a heart transplant on our waiting list at Papworth, with one third waiting over a year.” The operation, which has been completely successful in the United States and parts of Europe, has the ability to significantly decrease transplant waiting times in the future.

After receiving his new artificial heart, Green has gained a whole new lease on life. “I am really excited about going home and just being able to do the everyday things, such as playing in the garden with my son and cooking a meal with my family.”

Around the Web

Father becomes first in Britain to get artificial heart [The Telegraph]

Plastic heart gives dad Matthew Green new lease of life [BBC Health News]