Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center Begins Certification Training for World's Only Approved Total Artificial Heart

Houston Hospital Ranked 19th in Nation for Heart/Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report http://www.syncardia.com

(PresseBox) (Tucson, ) On July 8 & 9, the 13-member surgical team from the Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center in Houston, led by Dr. Matthias Loebe, Surgical Director of the Heart & Lung Transplant Program, completed the first phase of certification training to implant the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart.

“Our hospital currently offers 10 different mechanical circulatory support devices for heart failure patients, but there is only one approved Total Artificial Heart,” said Dr. Loebe. “It is the only device that allows us to replace both the left and right failing heart ventricles. The Total Artificial Heart will allow us to bridge patients to transplant who would’ve otherwise been out of treatment options.”

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center performs more than 1,500 operations annually. In 2009, Methodist performed 23 heart transplants, 8 heart-lung transplants and 26 left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implants. The center was ranked 19th in the nation for Heart/Heart Surgery by U.S. News & World Report for 2009-2010.

Dr. Loebe is an internationally acclaimed researcher and surgeon, who has authored or co-authored more than 200 articles and actively contributes to numerous research studies. He completed residencies in the Department of Surgery at Hannover Medical School and the Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery at the German Heart Institute in Berlin. Both hospitals are current SynCardia Certified Centers. Dr. Loebe also completed a Cardiac Surgery Fellowship at the German Heart Institute and served as the Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery there from 1995-2000.

The Methodist DeBakey Heart & Vascular Center is located in The Methodist Hospital in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. It has 10 operating rooms, eight catheterization labs, 154 acute-care beds, 48 ICU beds and 30 transplant beds. The center receives more than $15 million in research support annually, from sources including the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association. In 1987, the Methodist Hospital was recognized as the first Medicare-designated heart transplant center in Texas and one of the first seven in the country.

SynCardia Systems Inc

SynCardia Systems, Inc. is the Tucsonbased manufacturer of the world's only FDA, Health Canada and CE approved Total Artificial Heart: the SynCardia temporary Total Artificial Heart. There have been more than 850 implants of the Total Artificial Heart, accounting for more than 190 patient years of life on the device.

Originally used as a permanent replacement heart, the Total Artificial Heart is currently approved as a bridge to human heart transplant for people dying from endstage biventricular failure. The Total Artificial Heart is the only device that provides immediate, safe blood flow of up to 9.5 L/min through both ventricles.

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