Yonsei University’s Severance Hospital has successfully implanted a mechanical heart pump into a child with a rare heart disease for the first time in Korea, the hospital said Tuesday.
|Severance Hospital doctors operate on a pediatric patient.|
The operation marks the country’s first biventricular assist device (BiVAD) implantation on a child with idiopathic cardiomyopathy, according to Yonsei. Idiopathic cardiomyopathy is a disease wherein the heart loses its ability to contract efficiently and decreases the amount of blood pumped to the body.
To date, heart transplants had been the only method of treatment for the disease, the hospital said.
But because children have a smaller chest that makes device insertion difficult and because Korean medical staff had no experience with pediatric VAD transplants, the hospital created an interdisciplinary surgical team comprised of specialists in cardiovascular surgery, cardiac anesthesia, and pediatric cardiology, among others, it said.
The team, led by Professor Park Young-hwan from Severance Hospital’s cardiovascular hospital, completed the first operation to replace both the right and left ventricles in a pediatric patient, according to Yonsei University.
Medical staff at Severance Hospital also performed the nation’s first VAD transplant on an adult in 2000, the hospital said.
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