First Time In Ukraine: Miniature Medtronic Mechanical Heart Implanted at the Heart Institute

October, 22, 2019

On October 22, 2019, at the Heart Institute, for the first time in Ukraine, a mechanical heart of the new generation was implanted – Medtronic Heart Ware 2 which is one of the most widely used Left Ventricular Assistance Devices (LVAD) in the world. So far, this is the sixth implantation of a mechanical heart at the Heart Institute and in Ukraine. The peculiarity of the operation was the use of a revolutionary new method of implantation – through mini-invasive access. Two incisions were made – a ministernotomy and a lateral thoracotomy.

Implantation of the LVAD via mini-invasive access has been made possible primarily due to the compactness of the next-generation mechanical heart which also has a smaller control unit and smaller, but with no less capacity, battery than the pre-implanted LVAD from Berlin Heart. The new-generation mechanical heart battery has a charge enough for 4 hours, and the patient always has 2 replaceable batteries of the same capacity. That is, the patient can move independently of external power supply for more than 12 hours.

The implantation was conducted by professor Boris Todurov assisted by cardiac surgeons Gavrylo Kovtun and Anton Shpachuk. The operation was carried out under the supervision of Czech professor Petr Nemec and representatives of Medtronic Shant Grigoryan and Nadia Chapichiklova. The operation was successful, the patient was transferred to the ICU.

The patient undergoes a rapid postoperative rehabilitation phase because the access for LVAD implantation was minimally invasive and less traumatic than conventional midline sternotomy requiring a massive sternum incision. The patient also benefits from minimized commissures in the pericardium, which will make it easier for surgeons to perform a heart transplant to that patient in the future.