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Smaller, lighter pump for heart failure patients in Singapore

Published on Jan 8, 2013 2:36 PM
Graphic of HeartWare ventricular assist device (HVAD), the third generation of mechanical heart devices. The new heart pump device is smaller and lighter and fits right next to the heart. It is linked by a cable that comes out of the abdomen to a carrying case containing a controller and batteries to drive the 160 gram pump. The device is now available in Singapore. -- PHOTO: NATIONAL HEART CENTRE SINGAPORE

Patients with advanced heart failure here can now opt for a smaller and lighter heart pump that is easier to fit into the body.

The HeartWare ventricular assist device weighs just 160g and fits right next to the heart. It is attached to a battery-operated controller pack outside of the body, to be carried around the waist or over the shoulder of the patient.

Doctors at the National Heart Centre Singapore said the latest pump does not require a pocket to be surgically created underneath the heart to house the device, which is required for previous generations of heart pumps. This means surgery can also be completed in a shorter time, and is less invasive.

The device is meant for those with advanced heart failure but who are no longer responding to medication and their only options are to use a heart pump or receive a heart transplant.

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