Editor's note: After interviewing artificial heart patient and transplant recipient Margaret Daugherty for our "Where Are They Now" feature in December, we spoke with the chairman of VCU's Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery for an update on the program. VCU Medical Center has performed 75 artificial heart implants since the first one in 2006, says Dr. Vigneshwar Kasirajan, chair of the VCU Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery. "We're very pleased with how Meg Daugherty has done," Kasirajan says. Daugherty received an artificial heart in December 2010, after physicians determined the transplanted heart she had received 18 years earlier was failing. By September 2011, a matching human heart was found for Daugherty, and she was healthy enough to undergo a second transplant. "We have some of the best survival rates for artificial heart in the world," Kasirajan says, adding, "These are very sick patients with very complicated illnesses." But he emphasizes that artificial heart implants make up just a small part of the heart surgeries done at VCU. "We do about 10 per year," he says. "This year, we've done seven. It depends on the type of patient." By comparison, VCU does about 20 heart transplants a year, the surgeon says. "We now have five full-time cardiologists dealing only with heart failure," he says. "We have four surgeons full-time doing transplants and devices," including the LVAD (left ventricular assist device). "The program since 2010 has grown and become more robust in terms of offering more options," he says. That includes two types of LVADs and seven kinds of temporary pumps. In addition, a clinical trial just ended for another type of LVAD called the Jarvik 2000. "My goal is that VCU should be a resource for the community," Kasirajan says. "I think people don't understand or appreciate how much is going on downtown … We're one of the top 10 device and transplant programs in the country."