Groundbreaking Surgery: Pig Kidney Transplanted into Human Body

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Pig Kidney Transplanted into Human Body

Medical science is getting more advanced with each passing day. Many unexpected events or discoveries are unfolding which are helpful for mankind. One more groundbreaking event has been written in the history of medical science when a team of surgeons successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a human body. The surgery occurred last weekend when a 62-year-old man from Weymouth, Massachusetts got a second birth after a kidney transplant. 

The patient is identified as Richard Slayman who became the first living person to get a genetically modified kidney from a hog. The news unfolded on Thursday, 21 March 2024 after the report submitted by the hospital. According to the reports, Slayman was admitted to the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston due to kidney failure and he had been on dialysis. The reports further added that a team of surgeons performed a kidney transplant surgery on Saturday, 16 March 2024. 

The operation ran for 4-hour and surgeons successfully transplanted the pig kidney into Slayman. In a released statement, the hospital said that “the surgery marks a major milestone in the quest to provide more readily available organs to patients.” The patient is recovering well and will be discharged from the hospital soon, according to the hospital.

An associate chief of the nephrology division at Mass General, Dr. Winfred Williams also shared this news with a media outlet and said that a 62-year-old man suffering from end-stage renal disease had undergone a 4-hour operation to get a pig kidney. The Nephrologist said “It is a groundbreaking milestone. Should the kidney continue to work well and this is a success, I think it represents a breakthrough in many different areas.” 

Apart from that, the Director of kidney and pancreas transplantation at USC Transplant Institute in Los Angeles, Dr Jim Kim said that experts are looking forward to knowing the long-term results of the groundbreaking animal-to-human transplant or xenotransplantation.  This transplantation could offer hope to the tens of thousands of individuals in the United States on the waiting list for organ transplants as well as all across the globe. 

As per the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), more than 100,000 individuals in the United States are on the waiting lists for transplantation and around 90,000 are waiting to get kidneys. The UNOS is a nonprofit group that manages the organ transplant system of the United States. Speaking about the kidney transplantation of Slayman, it is his second kidney transplantation, as in 2018,  he received a kidney transplant of a human at the same hospital after 7 years on dialysis. 

However, after 5 years of transplantation, the human kidney failed and he again went on dialysis treatments. The kidney came from a pig that had undergone genetic editing to eliminate genes that would be dangerous for a human recipient and add some human genes to increase compatibility. The donor was eGenesis of Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Further addition, the firm also inactive viruses inherent to pigs that have the chance to harm and infect humans. Xenotransplantation comes with significant risks that sometimes take the life of the person. According to the reports, there have been 2 pig-to-human heart transplants in the United States in both cases, the patient died within 2 months.

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