Successful Artificial Heart Surgery for Kids: Italy Health News

Want more heart care news? Check out the story below about a successful artificial heart operation in Italy which could prolong a young boy’s life. It reminds us of the story of Charles Okeke’s artificial heart.

Successful Artificial Heart Surgery for Kids

An unnamed Italian teenager underwent the first-ever permanent artificial heart transplant ever performed on a child, hospital officials say. The operation can prolong his life for 20-25 years. The 15-year old Duchenne syndrome patient underwent the transplant for 10 hours last week at the Bambino Gesu Children’s Hospital in Rome.

His doctors placed the artificial heart which is around 4 cm inside his left ventricle. His new heart is now an electrically activated hydraulic pump that weighs more than 90 grams. His new heart is powered through a plug placed behind the left ear. It is connected to a rechargeable battery that he holds in a belt.

Paediatric cardiac surgeon Dr. Antonio Amodeo, who headed the team for the operation, confirms the patient is now well and can even talk. However, he will be in intensive care for another two weeks.

Dr. Amodeo tells the Telegraph “This surgery opens up new horizons as there are many children who need transplants but the number of donors is very small and there are some who like this patient cannot be transplant candidates because of illness.”

The Italian teenager suffered from the muscle wasting Duchenne syndrome that caused rapid muscle degeneration and curtailed his ability to walk. Aside from extending the boy’s life, the new permanent heart is expected to improve his quality of life.