Montreal - A 65-year-old Quebec man who received a new long-term mechanical heart last month is being described as the only living Canadian without a pulse.

Dr. Renzo Cecere implanted the "Heartmate II" mechanical heart into Gerard Langevin in an three-hour operation Nov. 23.

Officials at the McGill University Health Centre say the device, which is about the size of a flashlight battery, could last up to 10 years.

That is longer than other models which are thought to be good for only two or three years.

The new mechanical heart, which is powered by batteries located in pouches on Mr. Langevin's body, provides a continuous flow of blood so the patient has no pulse.

"Mr. Langevin happens to be the only individual currently living in Canada without a pulse and without a measurable blood pressure," Dr. Cecere said Wednesday.

Mr. Langevin admitted to reporters that, before the operation, he felt his time was up after he suffered his second heart attack in July.

He had the other in 2002.

"I was finished. I had no time left. I probably had only a few months left to live," Mr. Langevin said.

He admitted he was afraid and hesitant about having the implant.

"My wife pushed me a lot to have the operation and I don't regret it."

Mr. Langevin, who comes from Coteau-du-Lac, southwest of Montreal, added it was "better than staying out for the count."

Dr. Nadia Giannetti, director of the MUHC's heart transplant program, said Mr. Langevin was deemed an unsuitable candidate for a heart transplant because of other medical conditions.

"Previously, we would have had little to offer and his heart would have continued to deteriorate," she said.

Dr. Giannetti said the entire procedure cost $100,000, with the tab being picked up by the hospital foundation.

The "Heartmate II" is currently part of a clinical trial at several hospitals in Canada and the United States.

Only one other Canadian hospital-the Toronto General Hospital- was invited to take part in the study.

The device has yet to be approved for use in either country.

Doctors says Dr. Langevin is well enough to be released from hospital in the coming days.