Why is the artificial heart important?

So it doesn't pump both to the lungs and the body at the same time, like the normal heart, but it pumps side to side.

This is an important advantage, because the bulk of the volume compensation that a pulsatile pump needs can be adjusted by using alternating ventricles.


Career Overview

Total Artificial Heart

Also known as

A total artificial heart (TAH) is a pump that is surgically installed to provide circulation and replace heart ventricles that are diseased or damaged. The ventricles pump blood out of the heart to the lungs and other parts of the body. Machines outside the body control the implanted pumps, helping blood flow to and from the heart.

A doctor may recommend a TAH if you have heart failure caused by ventricles that no longer pump blood well enough, and you need long-term support. TAH surgery may be an alternative treatment in certain patients who are unable to receive a heart transplant.

As with any surgery, TAH surgery can lead to serious complications such as blood clots or infection. You may have to stay in the hospital to prevent or manage these complications. In some cases, people with a TAH can leave the hospital to wait for a heart transplant.

Explore this Health Topic to learn more about TAH surgery, life with a TAH, and where to find more information.