Total Artificial Heart Who Needs a Total Artificial Heart?
The total artificial heart is approved by the FDA as a bridge to a transplant. Total artificial hearts are used to keep people with heart failure alive while they wait for a heart transplant. Total artificial hearts have also been used for people living with other heart conditions as part of research into those particular conditions. Researchers are working on total artificial heart devices that may be used as treatments for people who cannot have a transplant.
You may be a candidate for a total artificial heart if you have advanced heart failure caused by the inability of your heart’s ventricles to pump enough blood, and if other treatments have not worked. You may also be a candidate if your body has rejected an earlier heart transplant.
A total artificial heart may also be used for people living with the following conditions:
- An uncontrollable ventricular arrhythmia
- End-stage complications of congenital heart defects
- Ventricles that are not the right shape for a ventricular assist device (VAD)
- Broken or ruptured ventricles
- A left ventricle that fails to work properly after a mechanical valve replacement surgery
- Blood clots in the lining of the blood vessels and heart
Who cannot get a total artificial heart?
Your healthcare provider will likely not recommend a total artificial heart if you:
- Are too small, although newer technologies are compact enough for smaller adults and some children
- May benefit instead from other treatments, including medicines
- Have heart failure on only one side of your heart and could benefit from a heart treatment called a ventricular assist device instead
- Cannot take anticlotting medicines, which are required as long as the total artificial heart is in place