Historic: Surgeons successfully transplant pig heart into human for the first time in US


First time ever in the history, the surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center implanted a heart from a genetically modified pig into a 57-year-old man with terminal heart disease.

The historic procedure took place on Friday and took about eight hours. It was the first e successful pig-to-human heart transplant ever performed, and could mark the beginning of a new era for xenotransplantation, as well as offer new hope for the severely ill who face an ever-present shortage of organs from human donors.

The patient identified as David Bennett,  is currently being monitored over the next days and weeks to determine whether the transplant provides lifesaving benefits.

“It was either die or do this transplant.,” Bennett said in a statement prior to the eight-hour surgery. “I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice.”

Bartley P Griffith, MD, who surgically transplanted the pig heart, said that this was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis.

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“It was the only currently available option for the patient,” the University of Maryland Medicine said on Monday (January 10, 2022) after performing the historic surgery.

“This organ transplant demonstrated for the first time that a genetically-modified animal heart can function like a human heart without immediate rejection by the body,” the University said in a statement.

It is noteworthy that the US Food and Drug Administration had granted emergency authorization for the surgery on New Year’s Eve through its expanded access (compassionate use) provision.

1 Comment

    I think it’s time to evolve the stem cell use to a higher ground.

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