heart health

What are the risks of implanting a total artificial heart?

The total artificial heart is a mechanical device, designed to replace a person's true heart when he suffers from heart failure at the last stage .

Surgery for his implant is a very delicate procedure, which can last from 5 to 9 hours and can even require a month of hospitalization .

The risks associated with the operation (both during and after its execution) are numerous, in that, despite the progress of medicine, the human heart still remains an organ that is difficult to reproduce with an artificial instrument.


Going into more detail, the risks consist of:

  • Formation of repeated blood clots . When blood comes into contact with a non-natural material, such as that used for the total artificial heart, it tends to form lumps. These are extremely dangerous, because they can restrict or occlude the lumen of a blood vessel.

    The remedy is to take anticoagulant drugs.

  • Bleeding . Blood loss may occur during and after the operation, following the opening of the chest. Moreover, the danger increases when the recruitment of anticoagulants begins to reduce the formation of blood clots.
  • Infections . The danger of infection is high especially when the CardioWest total artificial heart model is implanted. In fact, the use of this device involves the execution of one or more holes on the abdomen, in order to conduct two cables for the external power supply.

    At the first signs of infection, it is advisable to contact the doctor immediately, to have him prescribe an ad hoc antibiotic treatment.

  • Mechanical device malfunctions .
  • Allergic reactions to anesthetics used during surgery .