A team of Lebanese cardiologists successfully conducted the first artificial heart transplant operation for a 22-year-old patient in Beirut.
The operation, headed by the cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Saab, took over 12 hours to finish after 3 weeks of preparing the patient through medication. It was performed in Al-Rassoul Al-Azam Hospital in Beirut.
The patient had been suffering from left- and right-sided heart failure that had him spend 3 months in a hospital before being placed on the waiting list of the national committee for the donation and transplant of human organs in Lebanon.
However, due to the difficulty of getting hold of a natural heart, and considering the severity of the patient’s case, it was decided that an artificial heart would be used for the surgery instead.
The hospital stated that this was the first time this kind of surgical operation had taken place in the country, and “despite the difficult circumstances surrounding Lebanon.”
Notably, an artificial heart is used to bridge the time to heart transplantation, which requires a healthy heart of an organ donor that had been declared brain-dead.
The patient is now in good condition and is undergoing medical follow-up at the Beirut Heart Center within Al-Rassoul Al-Azam Hospital, the hospital said in a statement.
On a side note, medical workers and staffers at Lebanon’s public hospitals recently protested underpayment and overdue salaries.
These employees have been receiving their payments in Lebanese pounds at the official exchange rate of 1,500 LBP/USD while the pound’s value has plummeted against the U.S. dollar in the parallel market, reaching as low as 9,000 LBP/USD in the past few weeks.