Slovenia's first patient to receive SynCardia Systems' temporary total artificial heart (TAH) has been transplanted with matching donor heart at the University Medical Center (UMC) Ljubljana. The 61-year-old male patient received a matching donor heart on 1st July, after 256 days of life with the TAH.
In October 2011, the patient suffered a myocardial infarction that created a ventricular septal defect. He was placed on inotropes and implanted with an intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), but his condition continued to deteriorate. Following this, doctors performed Slovenia's first implant of the SynCardia TAH as the only suitable treatment option. On 29th December 2011, he was discharged from the hospital to wait for a matching donor heart at home using the Freedom portable driver to power his TAH.
On 18th July 2012, UMC Ljubljana performed its second implant of the SynCardia TAH. The patient, a 52-year old male suffering from cardiomyopathy and biventricular failure, was successfully bridged to a heart transplant.
Weighing approximately 6 kg (13.5 lb), the Freedom portable driver is the world's first wearable power supply for the SynCardia TAH. The Freedom driver is CE mark-approved for use in Europe and undergoing an FDA-approved IDE clinical study in the US.