20 years since first heart transplantation operation in USSR

20 years ago surgeons performed the first heart transplantation operation in the USSR. Since then, over 100 transplants have been made, with the majority of operations in Moscow.

Russia still lags behind Europe with almost 10 times fewer hearts being transplanted annually.

According to Valery Shumakov, the head of Russian Institute for Transplantology, the situation should improve with new laws passed this year that will make more donor organs available.

Meanwhile, surgeons have been improving techniques and reducing the mortality rates of patients.

“When we started and generally earlier, and in other hospitals the patients didn’t recover if a transplant was not working properly from the beginning. Now, we usually use additional support systems that allow the heart that doesn’t work adequately to adapt in a few days. Then we remove all this, the patient recovers, goes home and lives,” stressed Mr Shumakov.