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Hey guys,

I have something I want to talk about. 

Apparently, my heart failure has come to an end stage and there is not much else to be done except for this total artificial heart surgery. As my doctor explained it to me, both of my ventricles are going to be replaced with a total artificial heart, or TAH. 

As far as I know, all of the surgeries that have anything to do with one's heart require a long time recovery period, some people don't even fully recover from these. Can anyone tell me what could I expect after total artificial heart surgery?

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Hey Stradivarius,

You are right, all of the heart surgeries require a long recovery period.

Basically, recovery after artificial heart surgery mostly depends on your condition before the surgery. If you had severe heart failure for a while before getting the TAH, your body may be weak and your lungs may not work very well. Thus, you may still need a ventilator (a machine that supports breathing) after surgery. You also may need to continue getting nutrition through a feeding tube.

So, depending on your condition before the surgery day, your stay in the hospital after the surgery can be a month long, or even longer than that.
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Right after surgery, you'll be in the hospital's intensive care unit. An intravenous line will be inserted into a vein in your arm to give you fluids and nutrition. You’ll also have a tube in your bladder to drain urine.

After a few days or more, depending on how quickly your body recovers, you'll move to a regular hospital room. Nurses who have experience with TAHs and similar devices will take care of you. They will help you get out of bed, sit, or walk around. As you get stronger, the feeding and urine tubes will be removed. You’ll be able to go to the bathroom on your own and have a regular diet.

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You will need to talk to your doctor about bathing and swimming when you get out of the hospital.

There are two types of these artificial heart devices, AbioCor TAH and CardioWest TAH, I don't know which one of these two are you going to have. If you are going to get the first one, you will be able to swim and bath with no worries. However, if you are getting a CardioWest TAH, you’ll have tubes connected to a power source outside of your body. The tubes go through an opening in your skin. This opening can let in bacteria and increase your risk of infections.

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Thanks for the information

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Hey there.

Before you get a total artificial heart you’ll likely spend at least a week in the hospital to prepare for the surgery. That is something that your doctor will explain to you before. You might already be in the hospital getting treatment for heart failure. Now, during this time, you will learn a lot about the TAH and also you will learn how to live with it. You have to spend a lot of time with your doctor and nurses to make sure you have all the information you need before surgery. You can ask to see what the device looks like and how it will be attached inside your body.

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Hello friends. Well, this is very complicated surgery, just like every other heart surgery as well.

The best way to explain this surgery is next - Your heart has two ventricles that pump blood throughout the body. Deoxygenated blood is returned to the right ventricle, which pumps it through the lungs and to the left ventricle that pumps blood to the entire body. What pumps through the right ventricle must pump through the left ventricle or complications occur. The left ventricle is usually the first to fail because it works harder to pump blood to the entire body. You can expect to recovery from it, but the recovery time usually depends on you previous heart stage. Good luck.

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Hi there. Once implanted, the SynCardia Total Artificial Heart provides immediately.  Safe blood usually flow of up to 9.5 L/min through each ventricle. After the surgery, doctors and family members often watch patients turn from sickly gray to a healthier pink as blood flow is restored to their body and their vital organs. After the surgery and during the recovery, your physical and emotional health has a significant impact. You need to know that it is very important to maintain a positive attitude and have a solid support system to keep you motivated. You can’t be depressed because that can affect your health. Good luck there.

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