Saint Petersburg Surgeons Perform Unique Heart Transplantation Surgery

Saint Petersburg surgeons consider the heart transplantation performed three weeks ago in the Federal Center of Heart, Blood and Endocrinology n.a. Almazov the main event in the history of Saint Petersburg cardiology. The doctors of Russia’s northern capital served an internship in France and were then assisted by Moscow doctors during preparation for the surgery. As of today, the patient is feeling well.

The first person to receive a heart transplant in Saint Petersburg was Igor Kozlov, born in 1970. The heart was received from a multiple organ donor.

Today the patient talked to journalists. He said he was feeling well and demonstrated that he was able to stand and move.

The procedure was performed by a team of 15 leading specialists. Saint Petersburg cardiologists performed the surgery without assistance of other doctors in the OR.

The first successful heart transplantation in Russia was performed in 1987 in Moscow by Dr. Shumakov. In the 1990s, three heart transplantation surgeries were performed in Saint Petersburg. Unfortunately, all patients passed away a few days after their surgeries.

The most common procedure is to take a working heart from a recently deceased organ donor (allograft) and implant it into the parent. The parent's own heart may either be removed (orthotopic procedure) or, less commonly, left in to support the donor heart (heterotopic procedure); both are controversial solutions to one of the most enduring human ailments. Post-operation survival periods now average 15 years.

Worldwide there are 3,500 heart transplants performed every year; about 800,000 people have a Class IV heart defect and need a new organ. This disparity has spurred considerable research into the use of non-human hearts since 1993. It is now possible to take a heart from another species (xenograft), or implant a man-made artificial one, although the outcome of these two procedures has been less successful in comparison to the far more commonly performed allografts. Engineers want to fix the remaining problems with the manufactured options in the next 15 years.

Doctors made medical history in February 2006, at Bad Oeynhausen Clinic for Thorax- and Cardiovascular Surgery, Germany, when they successfully transplanted a 'beating heart' into a patient. Normally a donor's heart is injected with potassium chloride in order to stop it beating, before being removed from the donor's body and packed in ice in order to preserve it. The ice can usually keep the heart fresh for a maximum of four to six hours with proper preservation, depending on its starting condition. Rather than cooling the heart, this new procedure involves keeping it at body temperature and hooking it up to a special machine called an Organ Care System that allows it to continue beating with warm, oxygenated blood flowing through it. This can maintain the heart in a suitable condition for much longer than the traditional method.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov