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Louisville surgeons perform first total artificial heart implant in woman

Jewish Hospital is the second hospital in the country to perform the procedure.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Cardiothoracic surgeons at UofL Health's Jewish Hospital made history by performing the first total artificial heart implant on a woman last week.

The Aeson device is designed as a bridge as people wait for a heart transplant, something doctors say is a desperately needed. 

The implant was performed by UofL Health's Mark Slaughter, M.D., and Siddarth Pahwa, M.D., along with a team of UofL physicians and the UofL school of medicine.

“Size limitations can make it harder to implant artificial hearts in women, but the Aeson artificial heart is compact enough to fit inside the smaller chest cavities more frequently found in women, which gives hope to a wider variety of men and women waiting for a heart transplant and increases the chances for success," Slaughter said.

"Three and a half thousand patients are awaiting a heart transplant surgery at any moment. Due to the paucity of donor heart availability, we are unable to transplant most of them. So there is a constant need to innovate and push and find heart transplant substitutes," Pahwa said.

Jewish Hospital is the second hospital in the country to perform the procedure. 

The patient is currently recovering in the cardiovascular ICU.

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