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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Heart Pump Tested

CAMBRIDGE, England () -- British surgeons have broken new medical ground by connecting a battery-operated pump to the heart of a 62-year-old man to test if the new device offers long-term salvation for those dying from heart disease.

John Wallwork, a member of the medical team which carried out the operation in Cambridge, said the metal and plastic device known as a Left Ventricular Assist Device was implanted in the wall of the abdomen and connected to the patient's heart.

Such devices have only previously been used as a "bridge" to help more than 200 patients stay alive until a donor heart became available.

If a pilot study is successful, surgeons believe patients will be discharged wearing a battery pack to drive the electrical pump, which would be attached to a waist belt.