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Two hearts beat as one: Patient has second donor heart attached to his own in life-saving operation

22:05, Wednesday, 26 October, 2016
Two hearts beat as one: Patient has second donor heart attached to his own in life-saving operation

They say two heads are better than one, now pioneering surgeons have proven that two hearts can beat stronger as a pair as well... and they have caught the moment on video.
     Patient Tyson Smith, 36, was suffering from heart failure but was too weak to have a traditional heart transplant.
     So surgeons at the UC San Diego's Thorton Hospital left Mr Smith's own heart in place and implanted a second donor heart next to it, which they then fixed together.

'The donor and recipients’ left atria (filling chambers) are surgically attached to each other, allowing bright red, oxygenated blood in the patient’s original heart to flow to the new heart.
     'It is then pumped by the new left ventricle into the patient’s aorta which brings new and increased flow to all parts of the body. '
     Dr Copeland said: 'Mr Smith had two options: a mechanical left ventricular assist device (LVAD), which would replace the function of his left heart and allow him to then go on to a standard heart transplant in a few months; or the so called 'piggy back' transplant, which replaces the patient’s left heart and allows the patient’s right heart to continue the right-sided pumping through the lungs.
     'This way, Mr Smith needed only one operation rather than two, which saves the patient time, inconvenience, and pain, and reduces medical costs.'
     Mr Smith is expected to be discharged to his home in two weeks and return to a normal life within the next few months.

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