Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


July 11, 2011

UI physicians implant state's first Total Artificial Heart

Leaders of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics announced today that Iowa's only comprehensive academic medical center has implanted the state's first Total Artificial Heart.

"We are very pleased to bring this important new treatment to Iowa," said James Davis, M.D., the cardiothoracic surgeon who implanted the device. "This technology can help patients, who previously did not have any good options, to survive until a donor heart becomes available."

The SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart is the world's first and only FDA, Health Canada and CE (Europe) approved Total Artificial Heart. It is currently approved as a bridge to transplant for people dying from end-stage heart failure affecting both ventricles (biventricular failure). There have been more than 900 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 210 patient years of life.

Similar to a heart transplant, the Total Artificial Heart replaces both failing heart ventricles and the four heart valves, eliminating the symptoms and source of end-stage biventricular failure.

"Before this treatment became available, patients who received this kind of cardiac support had to stay in the hospital for weeks, often months while they waited for a donor heart," explained Jennifer Goerbig-Campbell, M.D., a cardiologist in the UI Heart and Vascular Center. "Our hope is that through the FDA clinical study of the new Freedom portable driver, patients who meet study criteria will be able to leave the hospital and wait for a matching donor heart at home with their families."

For more information, visit online at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Health Care Media Relations, 200 Hawkins Drive, Room W319 GH, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1009

MEDIA CONTACT: Tom Moore, 319-356-3945,