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Bucheon Sejong Hospital successfully performed an artificial heart surgery on the youngest patient in Korea!

  • Date : 2022-05-23
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▲ Figure 1: Kim Sung-ho, Vice director of the department (Director of Dept. of Pediatric & Juvenile/left), and Kim Jeong-yoon, chief of Dept. of Pediatric & Juvenile (right) of Bucheon Sejong Hospital, took a photo with the patient (center) 
Figure 2: Bucheon Sejong Hospital VAD Team: Kim Jeong-yoon of Pediatric & Juvenile Dept., Lim Jae-hong of Cardiothoracic Surgery Dept., Shin Kyeong-hee, the chief of 2nd Surgical Nursing Team, Kim Yeong-su of 2nd Surgical Team (left to right)

It is reported on Apr. 6 (Wed.) that the Pediatric Heart Team (Lim Jae-hong of Cardiothoracic Surgery Dept and Kim Jeong-yoon, chief of Dept. of Pediatric & Juvenile) of Bucheon Sejong Hospital (Director: Park Jin-sik) successfully implanted LVAD(Left Ventricular Assist Devices) in an 11-year-old patient who had suffered congenital cardiomyopathy. Bucheon Sejong Hospital is the only cardiac specialty hospital designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Korea.

So far, there have been several cases of artificial heart implantation surgeries for adults in Korea, but it was the first time that the LVAD implant surgery was successfully performed on the youngest patient with the lowest body surface area by using the latest model.

The artificial heart, replaced to pump blood to the body, has been used for those who need to wait for a heart transplant for a long time or for whom a heart transplant is not available. In July 2020, Heartmate 3, the latest 3rd generation model, was approved and introduced in Korea by the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety.

Kim Jeong-yoon, the chief of Dept. of Pediatrics and Juvenile of Bucheon Sejong Hospital, said, “When hospitalized, the patient had a severe left ventricular diastolic heart failure, Mitral (valve) insufficiency, and severe pulmonary hypertension due to cardiomyopathy. That means, the patient showed symptoms of end-stage cardiovascular disease, whose cardiac output was significantly decreased.” She described the situation by adding that “It was urgent for the patient to have heart implantation, but the surgery was impossible because of the severe pulmonary hypertension. That’s why we decided to implant VAD to treat pulmonary hypertension before the heart transplant.”

​Before the surgery, the Dept. of Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery, Pediatric & Juvenile, and Radiology had a meeting to decide on the implant through the apical region of the heart. After the surgery, the patient enjoyed a daily life without any right heart failure or infections, and the hospital has been monitoring and following up with the patient for the next step, the heart transplant.   

Lim Jae-hong of Bucheon Sejong Hospital, who performed the surgery, said, “In general, it is difficult to succeed in implanting LVAD to patients with the small left ventricle, so very precise and careful treatment is required. In this sense, it is very encouraging that the operation was successfully performed without any complications.” He added, “we doctors will do our best to help more child patients could go back to their normal life through our treatment service.”    

Meanwhile, the Pediatric Heart Team of Bucheon Sejong Hospital consists of 9 Pediatric and Juvenile doctors who are in charge of pediatric heart problems, and 4 Pediatric Cardiac Surgery doctors who perform heart surgeries for children. In this sense, it is no exaggeration that the hospital has the best infrastructure compared to other university hospitals in Korea. Recently, the team successfully operated on nonsurgical percutaneous 2 aortic valve replacements for the first time in Korea, and pulmonary artery banding-hybrid surgery in succession, contributing to the pediatric cardiac treatment services in Korea.