What is a CardioWest total artificial heart (TAH)?

Andrew J. Boyle, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The CardioWest total artificial heart (TAH) is, a pump used to replace your failing heart, is used for right and left ventricular failure. During surgery, the TAH is implanted in the chest cavity. The ventricles of your heart are removed and the TAH is sewn in. Blood returns from your body and goes into the right side of the device. The right side of the device pumps blood to your lungs. The blood then flows from your lungs to the left side of the device and the left side pumps the blood to the rest of your body.

There are two lines, called drivelines, attached to the device inside your body (one for the right and one for the left). These lines are called the drivelines. The drivelines will exit the skin on the left hand side of your body and attach to a console that controls the device. The blood is pumped out of the device by air pressure. The air pressure comes from the console into the device, through the drivelines. The console controls how fast the TAH pumps your blood.

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