|Bae Jung-soo (left) exercises after receiving an artificial heart transplant operation at Samsung Medical Center. (Samsung Medical Center)|
A Seoul hospital has successfully conducted the first-ever transplant of an artificial heart pump in the country, hospital officials said Thursday.
The operation took place in August when a 75-year-old patient suffering from congestive heart failure received a left ventricular assist device (VAD), according to the officials at Samsung Medical Center.
A VAD is a mechanical circulatory device typically used for patients suffering from congestive heart failure. The left VAD used in the operation was made in the United States.
The officials said it was too early to call the entire operation a success. “Because it was still a clinical test, we will need to see the patient’s prognosis to determine whether the surgery was successful or not,” an official said.
The hospital plans to conduct additional clinical tests on at least two other patients, pending the outcome of its first-ever heart transplant.
Operation of heart transplants in the country could help save large amounts of money for patients, who currently have to travel to other countries for such an operation. A VAD alone costs nearly 110 million won ($103,000). (Yonhap News)