National Scientific Cardiac Centre Helps Train Int’l Doctors in Heart Implant Procedure

ASTANA – Thirteen experts from Germany, Italy, Serbia, Poland and Turkey are for the first time in Astana to learn how to implant the Heart Mate III, which is produced by the American company Toratec.

hospital surgery with heart rate monitorThe training programme is being held at Astana’s National Scientific Cardiac Centre, which was conceived by President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Since 2011, Chairman of the Board of the National Scientific Cardiac Surgery Centre Professor Yuri Pya has been implementing an artificial heart implant programme to help Kazakhstan  become a world leader in the field of cardiac surgery.

More than 150 Kazakhstan citizens have alreadybeen given a second chance at life with a new heart at the centre. The Heart Mate is a third generation device that has replaced its previous, less developed analogues. Kazakhstan, being a participant in the research, received implant rights from the manufacturer.

“Since we gathered here, I have had the extraordinary opportunity to witness implants of this third generation life saving device. I admire the professionalism of our Kazakhstan colleagues,”a University Hospital of Tübingen (Germany) Professor Christian Schlensak said.

Cardiac surgeons have had the opportunity to witness an implant procedure  and ask Professor Pya questions via the internet. It should be noted that presentations of the third generation artificial heart are expected to attract about 300 foreign experts to Astana. Apart from the Heart Mate III, the centre has more than 30 innovative technologies that will be presented through various workshops in the future.

Talking about other achievements at the centre, it should be mentioned that three hearts were transplanted last week. For the first time, a heart transplant was carried out on a minor, a 17-year-old boy. Since August 2012, 13 operations have been successfully carried out at the centre.

Both artificial and donated heart implants are expensive; this is why these procedures are usually carried out in countries with established economies. The cost of the first operation is 40 million tenge (US$215,767), the second is 25 million tenge (US$134,879). Despite today’s challenging economic realities, the transplant programmes won’t be cancelled as they are part of the social obligations of the state that President Nazarbayev ordered not to be curtailed in a recent round of budget optimisations. Hence, Kazakhstan’s citizens will continue to enjoy the opportunity to improve their health through the country’s high quality cardiac surgery options.

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