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Artificial Heart

In addition to their expertise in heart transplant and cardiac care, our surgeons are leaders in implanting the total artificial heart in patients with severe heart failure. Some of these patients are awaiting a transplant, while others are not eligible.

What is an Artificial Heart?

The artificial heart is a mechanical circulatory support device that replaces the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart in patients with advanced heart failure.

Similar to a heart transplant, the surgery to implant an artificial heart is complex. Living with an artificial heart also requires significant planning and preparation. Fortunately, our physicians, surgeons and clinical teams have the expertise to skillfully care for patients who require such a device.

Artificial Heart Options Available at UCLA

Our physicians use two different types of artificial heart:

  • SynCardia Total Artificial Heart as bridge to transplant: SynCardia's 70cc Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to heart transplant for patients who are at risk of imminent death from biventricular failure. It is the world's first and only FDA-approved total artificial heart.
  • SynCardia's smaller 50cc pump is available as part of an investigational study for patients whose bodies are too small to fit the 70cc ventricles.

Leader in Artificial Heart Innovation

  • We are using the full-size (70cc) total artificial heart (currently FDA-approved). We participated in the Freedom Driver study which allowed the patients to go home for the first time with the total artificial heart.
  • We were one of the first in the world to implant SynCardia's smaller, 50cc artificial heart, which is in development for use in smaller adults and teens. Our patient was the first in the world to be bridged to heart transplant with the 50cc pump.

Our patients have access to the newest devices as soon as they are available, with our physicians often already familiar with the new technologies. Learn more about our research and trials.

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