Total Artificial Heart (TAH)

A total artificial heart (TAH) is a pump that is surgically implanted to provide circulation and replace damaged or diseased heart ventricles. The ventricles pump blood out of the heart to the lungs and other parts of the body. The controller outside the body controls the pumps and helps blood flow to and from the heart.

A patient with heart failure may be recommended a TAH when the ventricles no longer pump blood well enough and the person needs long-term cardiac support. TAH surgery could be considered an alternative treatment in certain patients who are unable to receive a heart transplant.


How does it work?

The TAH replaces the lower chambers of the heart. Tubes connect the TAH to a power source that is outside the body. The TAH then pumps blood through the heart’s major artery to the lungs and the rest of the body. The TAH has four mechanical valves that work like the heart’s own valves. These valves connect the TAH to the heart’s upper chambers and to the major arteries and the aorta. Once the TAH is connected, it performs the action of a normal heart, providing mechanical circulatory support and restoring normal blood flow.

Who is eligible for TAH?

A person may be eligible for a TAH if they have heart failure and both of their ventricles are working poorly. TAH can be used as a bridge to transplant.