New Improved Metal Hearts

FRESNO, Calif.

Cardiologist Maria Mountis' life is dedicated to helping hearts at the Cleveland Clinic and also at home.

"He had a device put in because he was too sick to wait any longer for a transplant," Maria Mountis M.D., staff cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic, told Ivanhoe.

Dr. Mountis' dad suffered from heart failure. Since then, she's dedicated her life to helping others survive. She's experienced the evolution of treatment.

"You can really see a difference, less than a pound and close to four pounds with this particular device," Dr. Mountis described.

LVADs, left ventricular assist devices, were once only used to keep a patient alive long enough to get a donor heart. Now, this smaller LVAD can be used for patients who aren't eligible for a transplant.

"They would live with this device the rest of their lives," Dr. Mountis explained.

The old LVAD could only be used for a limited time.

It's so big, most women and children couldn't carry the weight. A new study in the New England Journal of Medicin, reports a lower risk of stroke and clotting with the smaller device.

A heart mate two is keeping Sylvia Coleman alive and walking today. Just a few years ago, she could barely stand up.

"I couldn't walk more than 10 feet. I felt like I had a ton on my chest," Coleman recalled.

Four weeks after getting a new LVAD, Coleman was trekking around the neighborhood. Four months after that, she was traveling around the world.

"She was gone for three months. We didn't have a call from her. Unbeknownst to me, she also went on a cruise while she was down there," Dr. Mountis said.

"I had a blast on the boat," Coleman remarked.

And Coleman says the good times are just beginning.

The heart mate two is now FDA approved for destiny therapy, meaning, it's approved for patients who are not eligible for a heart transplant as lifelong therapy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:
Cleveland Clinic Heart Institute
Cleveland, OH
(800) 659-7822

Copyright © 2020 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.