NEWS
02/08/2011 07:37 BST | Updated 02/10/2011 06:12 BST

Matthew Green Becomes UK's First Successful Artifical Heart Transplant Patient

A 40-year-old father has become the UK's first patient to leave hospital with an artificial heart.

Matthew Green had been critically ill with end-stage biventricular heart failure, meaning that both sides of his heart were failing.

A six-hour operation, carried out last month by surgeons at Papworth Hospital near Cambridge, has replaced Green’s damaged heart with a Total Artificial Heart, a device that replicates both sides of the heart.

Steven Tsui, the director of the Transplant Service at the hospital, said without the transplant Green may not have survived the wait for a suitable donor for a human heart. Now he is expected to be able to enjoy an improved quality of life while a donor is found.

The operation has previously been successfully performed in both Europe and the US, but never before in the UK.

The transplant team from Papworth had to undergo rigorous training in Paris and were assisted by a German artificial heart specialist.

Green said: "Two years ago I was cycling nine miles to work and nine miles back every day but by the time I was admitted to hospital I was struggling to walk even a few yards.

"I am really excited about going home and just being able to do the everyday things that I haven’t been able to do for such a long time such as playing in the garden with my son and cooking a meal for my family.”

The operation could help to avoid some of the worry and stress involved with waiting for a heart transplant in the UK, allowing patients to stay relatively active whilst on the waiting list.

Mr Tsui said: “At any point in time there may be as many as 30 people waiting for a heart transplant on our waiting list at Papworth, with one third waiting over a year."

The only previous total artificial heart transplant carried out in the UK occurred the 1980s.

In 1986 a patient received a Jarvik heart, the predecessor of today's Syncardia model, and was supported for two days. It is hoped that Green's new artificial heart will continue to support him for much longer.