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Man becomes first person in UK to get artificial heart

Matthew Green, 40, who suffered failure of both chambers of his heart, is preparing to go home after groundbreaking surgery

A 40-year-old man has become the first person in the UK to receive a totally artificial heart.

Matthew Green had been critically ill, suffering from end-stage failure of both chambers of his heart.

But now he is preparing to return home after undergoing the groundbreaking surgery at Papworth hospital, near Cambridge.

The operation – which has also been completed successfully in the US and parts of Europe – could help cut transplant waiting times in the future.

Green said: "Two years ago, I was cycling nine miles to work and nine miles back every day but by the time I was admitted to hospital I was struggling to walk even a few yards.

"I am really excited about going home and just being able to do the everyday things that I haven't been able to do for such a long time, such as playing in the garden with my son and cooking a meal for my family.

"I want to thank all the wonderful staff at Papworth hospital who have been looking after me and who have made it possible for me to return home to my family."

During a six-hour operation last month, surgeons replaced Green's damaged heart with the device, which will serve the role of both ventricles and heart valves.

It provides a blood flow of up to 9.5 litres, eliminating the symptoms and effects of severe heart failure.

The artificial heart will be powered by a "freedom portable driver", worn like a backpack or shoulder bag.

The transplant team at Papworth, led by Steven Tsui, consultant cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the transplant service, underwent training in Paris and was assisted by Latif Arusoglu, an expert artificial heart surgeon from Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.

Green suffered from arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathia, a heart muscle disease which results in arrhythmia, heart failure and sudden death.

Tsui said: "At any point in time, there may be as many as 30 people waiting for a heart transplant on our waiting list at Papworth, with one third waiting over a year.

"Matthew's condition was deteriorating rapidly and we discussed with him the possibility of receiving this device, because without it he may not have survived the wait until a suitable donor heart could be found for him.

"The operation went extremely well and Matthew has made an excellent recovery. I expect him to go home very soon, being able to do a lot more than before the operation with a vastly improved quality of life, until we can find a suitable donor heart for him to have a heart transplant."


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