Vanderbilt University Medical Center Implants First Total Artificial Heart in Tennessee

The VUMC Heart Transplant Program is the second busiest in the world, performing nearly 100 adult and pediatric heart transplants per year.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee — Sept. 27, 2018 — To save the life of a 56-year-old man with congestive heart failure, Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has performed Tennessee’s first implant of the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart (TAH).

“It is really an important moment for us here at Vanderbilt,” explains Dr. Ashish Shah, Professor and Chair of Cardiac Surgery at VUMC.

“Our advanced heart failure program has already been a world leader in many respects, but our ability to take care of the truly complicated patients with either complex structural heart problems or problems that are just not solved by conventional technologies, can now be treated with this approach.”

The VUMC Heart Transplant Program is the second busiest in the world, performing nearly 100 adult and pediatric heart transplants per year. Dr. Shah believes that going forward, the TAH will play an important role in helping bridge more patients to transplant — and keeping them stable while they wait.

“There are patients who have been supported for years with this technology,” he says. “Our goal is, as soon as our patients are physically ready, that we go ahead and get them transplanted. It can be within weeks; it can be within a year. It depends on what the patient needs.”

Read the full story on the VUMC Reporter.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Photo: Anne Rayner; VU