Historic Breakthrough in Health & Medical sciences, Pakistani-American and US surgeons have successfully transplanted a heart from a genetically modified animal, pig in a 57-year-old man. This experimental transplant could solve the chronic shortage of organ donations and it represents a major milestone for animal-to-human transplantation.
The “historic” procedure took place on Friday at the University Of Maryland Medical School.
The patient, David Bennett, was ineligible for human transplant, but in medical sciences decision is taken when the patient has very poor health. He is now recovering and being carefully monitored to determine the new organ performance.
“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” according to the Maryland resident said a day before the surgery.
Bennett has spent the last several months, bedbound on a heart-lung bypass machine, added that “I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover.”
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for the surgery on New Year’s Eve, as a last effort for a patient life because he was unsuitable for conventional transplant.
“This was a breakthrough surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis,” said Bartley Griffith, who surgically transplanted the pig heart.
“We are proceeding cautiously, but we are also optimistic that this first-in-the-world surgery will provide an important new option for patients in the future.”
Muhammad Mohiuddin, co-founded the university’s cardiac xenotransplantation program, added that the surgery was the conclusion of years and research, involving pig-to-baboon transplants, with survival times that exceeded nine months.
“The successful procedure provided valuable information to help the medical community improve this potentially life-saving method in future patients,” Dr. Mohiuddin added.