PHYSICIANS SAY PATIENT WHO RECEIVED
FIRST ABIOCOR IMPLANTABLE REPLACEMENT HEART DOING WELL TWO WEEKS
(LOUISVILLE) - During a press conference
on Monday, July 16, physicians who successfully implanted the world's
first AbioCor Implantable Replacement Heart said the patient, a
mid-to-late 50-year-old male, asked them to express his very sincere
appreciation for all the prayers and support he and his family have
received from around the world.
The Jewish Hospital clinical team
led by University of Louisville surgeons Laman A. Gray, Jr., M.D.,
and Robert D. Dowling, M.D., also said the patient is exceeding
their expectations at this point. The seven-hour surgery, performed
July 2 with a team of 14 nurses, perfusionists, anesthesiologists
and other support staff, was the first of its kind in the world.
Drs. Gray and Dowling reiterated
that the procedure went extremely well and the patient is doing
better than either physician ever anticipated considering his condition
when he arrived at Jewish Hospital prior to the implant.
"The patient is doing well
considering his illnesses prior to implant," said Gray. "The
additional procedures that we have reported since the operation
are anticipated in such cases."
The physicians also emphasized
that the patient and his family still wish to remain anonymous.
"The entire team is concerned first and foremost for the clinical
and personal well-being of the patient and his family," said
Dowling. "All of the actions that we have taken have been done
with the knowledge, agreement and consent of the patient and family."
"We are releasing information
concerning the patient's status according to previously announced
policies," said Gray. "We will keep everyone apprised
of events in a timeframe that we feel is appropriate.
"Of course, we are gathering
and analyzing data for publication in scientific journals and for
scientific presentation at the earliest possible time," Gray
added. "I believe this is the most appropriate forum for public
debate and discussion on new medical procedures."
The experimental procedure is the
result of 20-plus years of product research and development by Danvers,
Mass.-based ABIOMED, INC., and a three-year partnership with the
University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital, where pre-clinical
in-vivo device research was performed.
The Louisville-based research accomplished two major goals in the
completion of the pre-clinical stage of the project. First, three
years of successful pre-clinical implants of the AbioCor offered
sufficient evidence to the Food and Drug Administration that the
device was biocompatible and was capable of sustaining life. Second,
the surgical team from Jewish Hospital and the University of Louisville
developed its procedural protocols - ranging from pre-surgical patient
care to post-surgery recovery and rehabilitation.
Jewish Hospital is among the top
ten cardiac centers in the United States and, along with the University
of Louisville, is dedicated to excellence, research and education.
University of Louisville surgeons at Jewish Hospital have performed
many heart care "firsts," including Kentucky's first heart
transplant, the world's first heart transplant following the use
of a Thoratec bi-ventricular assist device, the world's first endoscopic
saphenous vein harvest and the first ventricular remodeling in the
For more information, please visit www.heartpioneers.com.
# # #