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Hi everyone,

I've recently seen a thing called a Total Artificial Heart on the TV. I just caught the very end of the show and it amazed me. Has medicine gone so far that people can now live with artificial hearts? How cool.

I don't know anything about this and I'm dying to learn more. How, when, why, any information that you can provide. Since I don't know anything about it, you could start from the basics, like, what exactly is this heart, how does it work, what is it made from. Oh, I also want to know which people are eligible for getting one.

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Hey Curious,

Your nickname seems to fit you perfectly.

A total artificial heart (TAH) is a device that replaces the two lower chambers of the heart. These chambers are called ventricles. You might benefit from a TAH if both of your ventricles don't work due to end-stage heart failure.

Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. "End stage" means the condition has become so severe that all treatments, except heart transplant, have failed. (A heart transplant is surgery to remove a person's diseased heart and replace it with a healthy heart from a deceased donor.)

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It is quite simple actually, Curious, once doctors figure out that no surgeries can help you, I mean, your ventricles can no longer be repaired, you are eligible for having a total artificial heart.

Basically, you might need a TAH for one of two reasons:

  • To keep you alive while you wait for a heart transplant
  • If you're not eligible for a heart transplant, but you have end-stage heart failure in both ventricles.

The TAH is attached to your heart's upper chambers, the atria. Between the TAH and the atria are mechanical valves that work like the heart's own valves. Valves control the flow of blood in the heart.

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Hi guys,

I didn't realize that the conditions were so strict. I mean, I thought that a lot of people are eligible for getting a total artificial heart, this makes less than 1 percent of the population eligible for this device.

I also thought that this is the whole device, not just a part of it. I mean, it is still pretty much awesome but a bit less awesome than it would be if it was an entire heart.

Do you know if people live a lot with this total artificial heart, or do they live shorter than people with normal heart?
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Good day there.

Look, like you already know, total artificial heart (or TAH shortly) is a device that replaces the two lower chambers of your heart. These two lower chambers are called ventricles and you might benefit from a TAH if both of your ventricles don't work due to end-stage heart failure. As you already know, heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs. "End stage" means the condition has become so severe that all treatments, except heart transplant, have failed. That is basically the main definition of artificial heart. 

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Hello everyone.

Total artificial heart can get anyone who is waiting to have heart surgery or heart transplantation. The total artificial heart is actually a device that is used to replace the ventricles for patients in end-stage heart failure. In end-stage heart failure, patients' heart function has become so poor that their only option is a heart transplant and doctors will tell them on the time. The artificial heart attaches to the patient's upper heart chambers or known as the atria, and blood flows between the chambers through mechanical valves. A lot of people do have the same problem like you do. 

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I have total artificial heart. When I found out about this, I need to confess you that it was really hard for me to handle with it. But later, my doctor told me that everything is going to be OK and that artificial heart is durable. And I need to tell you that his advice helped me a lot. Now, artificial heart can completely or temporary, depends on how case is complex, replace the ventricles and valves with a small device that is made of plastic or other man – made materials. This device does the job of pumping blood around. I live with it.

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