In a first of its kind
, a 15-year-old Italian boy has undergone a permanent artificial heart implant , which is expected to allow him to lead another 20 to 25 years of ‘normal life’.
The unnamed Italian boy
, who had to undergo a ten-hour operation to implant the artificial heart last week , was reported to be recovering well and was able to interact with medics at Bambino Gesu children’s hospital in . Rome
Doctors have decided to give him the artificial heart as the child was suffering from the muscle-wasting illness Duchenne’s syndrome. He was very close to his death and was ineligible for a heart transplant
, the Daily Mail reported.
Officials at the hospital said the artificial heart is expected to give the boy another 20 to 25 years of ‘normal life’.
Dr Antonio Amodeo
, who carried out the 10-hour-long breakthrough operation , said the heart is 2.5 in long and was placed inside the left ventricle and its connection with the ascending aorta.
He said: “The device is an electrically activated hydraulic pump and is entirely located inside the thorax
, in order to reduce the risk of infection.
It is powered through a plug positioned behind the left ear and connected to a battery that the patient holds on a belt and is charged during the night like a mobile phone.
“This is the first time such a device has been placed in a young child and should give him an improved quality of life even though he is suffering from Duchenne’s syndrome.” According to the doctors
, the device weighs just over 3oz compared to adult ones.