Sunday, December 22, 2013

Artificial heart: "This is a new era opens" - Le Parisien

Professor Jean-Noël Fabiani, chief of cardiovascular surgery at the Hôpital Européen Georges Pompidou.

Marc Payet | 21 December 2013 1:03 p.m.

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div Head of cardiovascular surgery of the European Hospital Georges Pompidou (Paris XV) which hosted the implementation of the first autonomous artificial heart, Professor Jean-Noël Fabiani very enthusiastic.

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How was this extraordinary operation?

Jean-Noël Fabiani. It lasted ten hours on Wednesday. This is the result of efforts of a team working on this project for twenty-five years. The credit goes first to Professor Alain Carpentier, designer of the first total artificial heart. I am very proud that this feat took place in France in the public service, the Georges Pompidou European Hospital in Paris, and very happy that it happened in my department. The team included Professor Christian Latrémouille including Professor Daniel Duveau with Professor Bernard Cholley and Dr. Denis Méléard, resuscitator. This is a strong sign of the excellence of French surgery.

How’s the patient?

It goes well but remains under observation. He’s awake and can talk with his family. Although it must necessarily be cautious with this type of extremely heavy operation, at least for the first few weeks. But we are optimistic.

Explain that this artificial heart was really new?

The main difference is that it is final. All other prototypes were hitherto required temporary and, thereafter, the placement of a heart transplant. It reproduced almost identically functioning of a human heart, the heart will beat at the same pace as before. Originality – through the work of Professor Carpentier – is to be made entirely with organic materials without the risk of rejection, with sensors that fit the needs of the patient. It is a feat, because the human heart is one of the most complicated machines ever!

What are the challenges for the sick?

Heart failure is the epidemic of the twenty-first century. For a part of these patients highly achieved, the artificial heart can be a solution. This will solve the problems of shortage of heart transplants. We realize 200 per year in France, but it does not cover all the needs of patients. Because there is not enough grafts. With this artificial heart, this is a new era of cardiac surgery that opens. Many countries wanted to be the first, the Americans, and yet it was successful with us!

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