The Texas Heart Institute is a world leader in the development, testing and application of heart assist devices. Our goal for the surgical research conducted here is to develop and determine the best assist device to use for each individual patient. Devices may be referred to as mechanical assist devices, ventricular assist devices (VAD), left ventricular assist devices (LVAD), total artificial hearts (TAH), or simply heart pumps.
The adjacent list describes devices currently in use at THI as well as those of historical interest and those in the research and development stages.
Heart assist devices in the news:
October 12, 2013
St. Luke's Patient Releases 'Heartfelt' Album
Widely recognized as one of the top acoustic guitarists in the world, Pete Huttlinger [heart pump recipient] has finally released his highly anticipated, 15-track album named McGuire's Landing that he began working on in 2006. He credits St. Luke's Medical Center and the Texas Heart Institute with giving him the opportunity to finish what he started.
— Texas Medical Center News Online
Watch LVAD recipient Pete Huttlinger jam with Dr. Billy Cohn on YouTube.
High-Tech Heart Savers
These innovative new procedures could save your life. "A team at the Texas Heart Institute [with Dr. William Cohn] has introduced a new device, called a beatless heart, that pushes blood through the body at a steady rate." — The Magazine from AARP
January 23, 2013
Keeping hearts pumping
Doctors push the limits of heart-pump technology in an effort to save lives. Dr. Bud Frazier often tells a story about when he was a medical student in the 1960s ... Frazier had this thought: If I can keep a man alive with my hand, why can't we make a pump that we can pull off of the shelf to do the same thing? Dr. Billy Cohn, another physician who works at the cutting edge of heart pump technology, likes to use the history of human flight as an analogy for the evolution in his field. Experimenters in both domains had to give up the idea of bio-mimicry to advance the technology. "It is similar to when man first tried to build a flying machine with flapping wings that mimic the birds. It is obvious now that fixed wings were the way to go," he says. "We think it is the same with the nonpulsatile pump, which, because it has only one moving part, is much more durable." - Houston Chronicle [Photo credit Mayra Beltran]
January 13, 2013
Mattress Mack donation brings BiVACOR artificial heart to Houston
engineer Daniel Timm's revolutionary device to be developed at THI. "I
think we're beyond the Kitty Hawk stage with this," - Drs. Bud Frazier
and Billy Cohn. Read Eric Berger's Houston Chronicle article.
January 9, 2013
revolutionary artificial heart without a pulse
Dr. Bud Frazier has
been working on making an artificial heart since the 1960s. In 2011, Frazier and
his colleague Dr. Billy Cohn implanted the first of a new kind of artificial
heart: one without a pulse. Minnesota Public Radio's The Daily Circuit
talks with guests Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Billy Cohn from the Texas Heart
. . .
November 20, 2012
FDA Approves HeartWare LVAD for HF
The FDA gave the green light for the HeartWare Ventricular Assist System
as a bridge to heart transplantation in patients with heart failure.
"The miniaturized device with an integrated inflow cannula is placed
within the pericardial sac . . . simplifying the surgical insertion,"
said O.H. "Bud" Frazier, MD, of Texas Heart Institute. Read the full story from medpagetoday.com.
July 25, 2012
Texas Mother Bridged to Heart Transplant with
SynCardia Total Artificial Heart Excited to Adopt
New Baby One Year Later
"On Sept. 20, 2011, 39-year-old Shawn Galloway was given new life when she received a donor heart transplant [at Texas Heart Institute in Houston] after 60 days of support with the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. This September, Galloway and her family will be blessed with new life for a second time." Read the article from PRNewswire.com. Read Shawn Galloway's story at SynCardia.com.
A story of two hearts, a father and a son. Albert and Brian Benoit tell their stories of how an LVAD saved two lives. Watch their story on YouTube. (June 2012).
Is this the future of artificial hearts?
At TEDMED 2012, Bud Frazier and Billy Cohn of the Texas Heart Institute preview a continuous-flow heart pump with minimal parts that works via a screw pump. Watch the VIDEO on YouTube.
No Pulse: How Doctors Reinvented The Human Heart
"This 10,000-rpm, no-pulse artificial heart doesn't resemble an organic heart--and might be all the better for it." The March 2012 issue of Popular Science
magazine featured Dr. Bud Frazier and Dr. Billy Cohn and their story of the development of the "total artificial heart." Read the full article at www.popsci.com
Cameron Engineers, THI researchers collaborate on heart pump
Engineers and scientists at Cameron Manufacturing & Engineering have worked with THI researchers in developing a new heart pump. On March 1, 2012, Cameron donated $500,000 to Texas Heart Institute at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital to develop a prototype heart pump which could save countless lives.
Researchers Create the First Pulseless Artificial Heart
Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier are featured in DISCOVER Magazine, discussing their work on the total artificial heart. See the 80beats blog. (December 2011)
Total Artificial Heart Recipient Home for the Holidays
SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart recipient Jeremiah Kliesing was discharged on Nov. 29, after receiving a dual heart and kidney transplant on Nov. 11 at THI. Read his story. (December 2011)
Can Tiny Heart Pump Limit Heart Muscle Damage after STEMI?
Interventional cardiologists affiliated with THI at St. Luke's recently implanted the first two patients in the nation with a tiny heart pump in a feasibility trial to determine the pump's potential to limit damage to heart muscle following a STEMI (ST-elevation myocardial infarction). Read the full news release to learn about the FDA-approved trial and the first enrolled patients. (November 2011)
Miniature Heart Pump: Smaller May Be Better!
Dr. William "Billy" Cohn discusses recent advances in left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) and other mechanical circulatory blood pumps as they get smaller and more adaptable to individual patients. View the video of his presentation at the Pumps & Pipes Conference (15 minutes, December 2010).
Newest artficial heart beats not
Craig Lewis lay dying in a Texas hospital bed. The 55-year-old was suffering from amyloidosis, a disorder that was destroying his heart. "This man was basically within an hour or two of death," says Billy Cohn, a doctor at Houston's Texas Heart Institute who oversaw Lewis earlier this year. Given Lewis's dire condition, Cohn and veteran artificial heart researcher Bud Frazier received the consent of the man's family to try something that had never been done before: the complete replacement of his heart with two continuous flow ventricular assist devices (VAD). Read the story in the online magazine, MACLEANS.CA. (September 15, 2011)
4 Total Artificial Hearts in 12 Days
Life-changing device providing "bridge to transplant" implanted by team led by Dr. Igor Gregoric at THI. "For patients who are out of options, these devices are absolutely critical," said Dr.Gregoric. August 8, 2011
Heart With No Beat Offers New Lease On Life
Dr. Billy Cohn and Dr. Bud Frazier at the Texas Heart Institute have developed a technique that could replace the heart while avoiding the risks of previous devices. Listen to the story on NPR Morning Edition (June 13, 2011)
Successful Implantation of a Continuous-Flow Total Artificial Heart
Doctors at THI (team led by Drs. Bud Frazier and Billy Cohn) successfully implanted the first continuous-flow total artificial heart in a desperately ill patient facing imminent death. (March 23, 2011, read more . . . )
Updated March 2014