First artificial heart implant surgery performed in Okinawa
In June this year, the University of Ryukyus Medical Department implanted an artificial heart into a patient with a severe heart condition. This is the first time in Okinawa for such an operation. On Sep. 18th, the University Hospital announced that the patient is been doing very well.
Yearly, some 30~50 heart transplants are conducted in Japan. There are about 280 patients waiting for a heart transplant and three to seven of them are in Okinawa. For some of these patients, time is not on their side. Using this new therapy makes it possible for them to live a normal life while waiting for a new heart.
Doctor Yukio Kuniyoshi from the Ryukyu University Medical Department reported three cases of implanted artificial heart surgery. According to Dr. Kuniyoshi, “It has been a risk to patients to travel to mainland Japan for this surgery. But now with the effort of our doctors, nurses, biomedical technicians and rehabilitation staff, there will be no more need to leave Okinawa to get the surgery.”
Counting the Ryukyu University Medical Department, there are currently 27 facilities nationwide where this surgery is possible.