Doctors in Germany have successfully implanted the world's
smallest artificial heart pump, billed as more effective and
unobtrusive than earlier devices, a hospital said Monday.
The first recipient, a 50-year-old woman, received the 92g
pump made of plastic and titanium in late July and is
now leading a nearly normal life with it at home, the University
Hospital of Heidelberg said in a statement.
"It can fully replace the function of the heart's left ventricle
and works particularly quietly and effectively," said the director
of the cardiac surgery division of the hospital, Matthias Karck.
The device can also help patients bridge the time until a heart
donor can be found for a transplant.
The pump is the fifth generation of the so-called DeBakey Heart
developed by the late US cardiac surgeon Michael DeBakey in the
It can be worn adjacent to the ailing heart and allows for external
electronic monitoring and adjustment.
(Sapa, August 2009)