UI Hospitals and Clinics

News Article

Iowa's First Total Artificial Heart

Leaders of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics announced July 11 that UI surgeons have successfully implanted the state’s first Total Artificial Heart.

“We are very pleased to bring this important new treatment to Iowa,” said the cardiothoracic surgeon who implanted the device. “This technology can help patients, who previously did not have any good options, to survive until a donor heart becomes available.”

The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is the world’s first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart. It is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage heart failure affecting both ventricles (biventricular failure). There have been more than 900 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 210 patient years of life.

Similar to a heart transplant, the Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure.

“Before this treatment became available, patients who received this kind of cardiac support had to stay in the hospital for weeks, often months while they waited for a donor heart,” explained Jennifer Goerbig-Campbell, MD, a cardiologist in the UI Heart and Vascular Center. “Our hope is that through the FDA clinical study of the new Freedom portable driver, patients who meet study criteria will be able to leave the hospital and wait for a matching donor heart at home with their families.”